When to Speak and When to Stay Silent

I’m an introvert.  Every personality test that I have ever taken screams, “He would rather be alone or in a small group of close friends.  If you get the impression he doesn’t what to talk to you, you could be right.”  You would think, then, that I would never suffer from foot in mouth disease.  However, I have tasted shoe leather or its fake version quite often in my life.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak….”  Who of you is looking forward to that?  I’m definitely not.  So, it seems that we all need to be more careful what we say. Here is a personal guide to speaking that I am working on.

1.  If I would have to introduce the statement with “I don’t know if I should say this, but…”, then I should probably go with my first impression and not say it.

2. Always remember, if it can be understood in a more negative light than I mean it, it probably will be.  Be careful how things I worded.  Not being a natural talker, I have to be careful how well I communicate verbally.

3.  Sometimes if words hurt, it is a good thing.  Just try not to be harmful.  This is a good thing to remember in listening also.  People’s words may hurt me but they are meant for my good and not to harm me.  They may confront me in ways that I don’t like, but if I take them to heart and learn from them, they may help me in the end.

4.  Closely related to number three, but broader, is that I should only say words that build up others and not words that pull down others. (Ephesians 4:29).  Gossip and words that cut down shouldn’t come out of my mouth nor that of any Christian.

If you have suggestions on what to add, feel free to comment.

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2 responses to “When to Speak and When to Stay Silent

  1. Think about how it would sound if someone said it to you.

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