Being Careful With Words

When I was a kid, there were commercials for EF Hutton. Two people would usually be at a restaurant or somewhere busy discussing investments. One person would say that his broker told him something about investing, then he would ask, “What does your broker say?” In every commercial, the other person would say, “Well, I use EF Hutton and he says…” At that point, the camera would zoom out, and everyone around them had stopped what they were doing and were leaning in to listen. The voice over would then say, “When EF Hutton talks, people listen.” It was a simple, effective way to show that not everyone talks just to be heard. Some people only speak when they have something to say, and it’s usually good.

In 2 Kings 20, King Hezekiah had been deathly sick. Isaiah prayed for him and God extended his life. The king of Babylon heard about his illness and sent messengers with a gift. Verse 13 says, “Hezekiah welcomed the messengers and showed them his wealth—his silver and gold, his spices and perfumes, and all his military equipment. There was nothing in his storerooms or anywhere in his kingdom that he did not show them” (GNT). He went on and on about all he had to them. That’s when God sent Isaiah back to the king to ask about the messengers. God was displeased with how Hezekiah told them everything. Then Isaiah prophesied that everything those men saw would soon be carried off to Babylon including members of his own household. He talked too much.

Proverbs 17:27 says, “He who has knowledge restrains and is careful with his words, And a man of understanding and wisdom has a cool spirit (self-control, an even temper)” (AMP). It goes on to say that even a fool is considered wise when he keeps his mouth shut. How careful are you with your words? Do you just say whatever comes to your mind or do you think about it, filter it and determine whether something needs to be said? We need to learn that not everything needs to be said, nor do we need to comment on everything. It’s good to choose your words wisely and to stay quiet at times. Wise people listen, learn, assess and then choose to speak with an end result in mind. Before speaking today, ask yourself, “Does that need to be said? Will it help the situation? Is it grounded in God’s Word?” If not, don’t speak. Choose to be quiet, speak only when you have something to say and people will listen.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

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