“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23 NLT
There is no better opportunity than the opportunity to keep your mouth shut. Everytime this verse comes up in my Bible reading plan, it always makes me smile. I can hear my mother yelling at me, “If you’d just learn to keep your d*** mouth shut you wouldn’t get into trouble.” I had no idea she was quoting scripture, well except for that little cuss word in the middle. Sin is always around, even when quoting scripture. Both Solomon and my mother are correct. If you keep your mouth shut, you stay out of trouble.
There is another message that is being taught here. It isn’t that we are never to open our mouths, that isn’t the point. The point is, know when to open your mouth. Obviously, you can’t go through life never saying a word. That would be ludicrous. But you also don’t have to say everything, all the time. That is the lesson these two have been trying to teach me all of my life, and I’m still learning it. It’s a tough one.
It’s tough because we don’t have all the facts. When we’re dealing with situations, we only know what we see from our perspective. We don’t know the entire story, we only know part of the story. Since I’ve started working on my Masters, it has really opened my eyes up to how self-absorbed I have been. I’m forced to read people I would never read any other way, and they are crazy. Some of these philosophers, just plain nuts. But they were people, looking at life from their perspective. A perspective completely different than mine. It’s amazing how God created us each so differently. We can never know the whole story, unless we have all the facts. We can’t have all the facts because we can’t truly know what others are thinking. Only God knows people’s thoughts, devil doesn’t. Just God.
Therefore, it can be hard to know when to speak because we don’t know the whole story. But we can ask God to lead us in our words. We can ask Him to help us know when to speak and when not to speak. We can ask Him for the words we should speak. Sometimes, I’m in a conversation with someone, just begging God for what I’m supposed to say next. He always gives me something. I’m always amazed at what it is.
Yes, keeping your mouth shut will keep you out of trouble. But so will letting God lead your words.