Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Silence is Golden

There have been a lot of humorous sayings written about the keeping your mouth shut. My Father was fond of saying, “Silence is golden. Shut up and get rich!” Both Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain got mileage from “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” 

They weren’t the first to give that advice. Over three thousand years earlier, the wise Solomon wrote, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues” [Proverbs 17.28]. Or how about this one as recorded in the New Living Translation, “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut!” [Proverbs 10.19]. OUCH!

Words, our words, reveal something about us: we are a God-honoring person, or a foolish, vain, or evil person. That’s because “the heart of the righteous thinks carefully before speaking, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil” [Proverbs 15.28].

Jesus talked about words that come from our hearts. They reveal us as being good or evil. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” [Luke 6.45].

One more thing, Jesus warned us that we will be held accountable for every idle word that we speak [Matthew 12.36]. That reminds me of a song we were taught in Sunday school many years ago. One verse went like this (if you know it, sing it with me):

Oh be careful little mouth what you say
Oh be careful little mouth what you say
For the Father up above
He is looking down in love
Oh be careful little mouth what you say

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4.29

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