I feel a little like I’ve turned a corner with regard to sharing thoughts around these parts recently. For a long time, I felt like I needed to write because there was an empty space — a few days, maybe more, where nothing new was on the docket, and it seemed to me that empty space was a bad thing. Better to just say something than to keep quiet for a while, right?


{No Bears were harmed in the taking of this photo, circa Jan. 2010}

But I began to ponder the difference between speaking {or writing} because you have to say something and speaking because you have something to say. Then verses like these began popping out at me:

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. {Prov. 15:2}

Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. {Prov. 10:14}

As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. {Prov. 11:22}

A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him. {Prov. 12:14}

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. {Prov. 13: 3}

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is! {Prov. 15:23}

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. {Prov. 16:24}

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles. {Prov. 21:23}

A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back. {Prov. 29:11)

Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. {Prov. 29:20}

and my personal favourite…

Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. {Prov. 17:28}

When it comes to a discussion of the importance of rightly wielding one’s tongue (or pen), in Proverbs alone, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Sermon in a Nutshell? Sometimes it’s better to wait until you have something to say than to speak just because you have to say something.

The New Testament provides a very good example of this principle — a before and after, two millenia before extreme makeovers, if you will — in the life of Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who may or may not have had ADHD. Hopefully I’ll be back to discuss that very topic in a day or two, but, ya know, I’m gonna make sure I have something to say first.

Do you struggle with speaking because you have to say something? (Great! You shouldn’t have any trouble commenting below!) Any tips for the rest of us?