Shut-up and Listen

“You’re an acquired taste.” Several years ago, a friend said those words to me. In case you’re wondering, yes, we are still friends today. ☺ I’ll admit, at first those words stung. Do people really think that about me? Am I someone who not everyone likes? As I drilled down into what exactly she meant by that, I discovered that she thought I was opinionated and outspoken. Now, this isn’t necessarily a character flaw. However, as I’ve gotten older, I have learned that it is sometimes better to hold my tongue. It came as a shock to me that not everyone wanted to hear what I was thinking. When you’re a person who freely gives your opinion, you don’t mind when others do as well. The thought never even occurs to you that maybe sometimes you should just keep your mouth shut. 

I have had friends tell me that their favorite thing about me is that they always know what I’m thinking. Some say it’s refreshing to have a friend that is honest, even in the hard stuff. I’ve also lost friendships by being too honest when I should have just stayed out of their business. This is definitely not something I would recommend. 

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says …“There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak.” Being quiet can be a struggle, but it can also be a good virtue to have. The Bible commends those who are able to keep the peace and listen however, discourages being silent due to timidity. Through God’s Word we can be empowered to speak out for it can lead to great things. But knowing when to do that and when to stay silent is tricky. I believe that prompting comes from the Holy Spirit, and if I keep my mouth shut for a minute, I’m actually able to hear whether or not He’s prompting me to share. Maybe this is a challenge for you like it is for me. I’m still learning to overcome it daily.

Proverbs 17:27-28 – “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

Angi Flatt – Project Manager – Engage Media Partners

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