One of the problems that I have struggled with in my life is talking when I should be quiet. I am very challenged to just sit and listen. I often begin to share my opinions even when I have not been asked for them. When I am talking with someone and they pause to consider a word to use in what they are trying to tell me, I am tempted to “fill in” the word for them. I have often had people look at me with frustration and tell me that the word I offered is not what they were thinking. I guess I’m not the best “mind-reader.”
Today I read these verses that really convicted me. “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words” (Ecclesiastes 5:1-3).
Talk about conviction! What great truth is taught in these three verses! I love the Bible for how well it knows me and my struggles, and how it speaks directly to them. I have asked God to help me to be more careful with my words, and to help me to be less willing to blurt out whatever hits my mind as it comes and far more cautious. When I go to the house of God, I ought to be going there to gain all I can from the Word of God that will be taught or preached than I am to share all my opinions! I think that a great deal of our problems in church could be solved by simply following the teaching of these verses.
I believe that these verses are also teaching that we need to realize the power of our words. A few words spoken from the heart with the leading of the Holy Spirit can be far more effective than many words that are “man-made.” I have heard some very intelligent people making great speeches that I have felt were simply them enjoying the sound of their own voice. I have heard very simple, humble people, without great deals of education speak a few words with great wisdom.
I want to be careful with my words today. I want to be a humble, Spirit-filled man today who will hold my words when the time is not right for speaking. I want to be a Spirit-filled man who will speak, even a few words, that will carry the mark of having spent time with God and that will demonstrate the influence of the Holy Spirit in my life.