February 26, 2021
Speak Less, Help More
“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.” (Proverbs 17:27-28, NLT.)
Friend to Friend
Staring at my phone, while it was ringing, I contemplated answering it. Frankly, I only had about 5 minutes until I needed to leave the house to pick up my kids from school. At the same time, I knew this friend probably needed help, in a big way.
What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t help her? If I wasn’t there for her?
I picked up the phone. My friend started in with her story, which kept going…and going…and going… I glanced at my watch. I had one-minute left until I needed to leave. So, I barked out a quick “I understand,” and then shoveled out some advice to “fix” her predicament.
I had strategies. I had wisdom. I gave her an action-plan. I hung up. I handled everything, right? I fixed her world, right?
After hanging up, I had a sinking feeling that I didn’t help her much at all. In fact, I wondered if I could have even hurt her? I said too much. Far too much.
My friend didn't need my lofty words, just my care. She didn’t ask for advice, just my presence. She didn't need my perfect answer, just my listening ear.
Pondering the call more, I noticed that when I stayed quiet on the call, she had room to pray. I also remember how she seemed to talk her way out of her own hole.
It was my pride that made me want to rise up as a savior. It is also my pride that makes me feel like I have to speak up with wise words all the time.
Humility does the opposite. It says less, so that God can move more. Humility is generous.
"A truly wise person uses few words..." (Proverbs 17:27, NLT).
This verse teaches us that wise people say less and listen more. They weigh words carefully before blasting them. They intentionally think about restoring the other person, rather than proving their own value. They lay down their words, remembering how Jesus laid down His life for the betterment of others.
Wise communicators don't immediately respond. They are okay with silence. They give space for others to help themselves. They take time to think before they speak. They release life-giving, redeeming words.
Dear Lord, give me all the grace that I need today to use my words wisely. May I consider Your heart, before I unleash my words. May I remember that You are Savior, before I rush in to fix things. May I humble myself trusting You to do the hard work. May I pray, before I rush in to fix things.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
- Where are you too quick to speak?
- How can you begin to respond differently?
- How might God use listening more to transform your relationships?
- Where, in your life, might God be calling you to use less words?
- What would this look like practically?
More from the Girlfriends
Check out Kellie’s new book, “Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries and Seize Joy,” on Amazon.
© 2021 by Kelly Balarie. All rights reserved.