Learning to Keep My Mouth Shut
By: Alisha Headley
In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who refrains is lips is wise. - Proverbs 10:19
How many times has your mouth got you in trouble? My mouth has got me in trouble countless times. Whether it was with coworkers from work, my friends and family, or with my husband -- nothing good comes out of talking too much. But if you’re a female, let alone a female like me who craves connection, that’s typically done through talking. So even the thought of refraining my lips seems like an impossible task.
My husband even jokes with me that he’s said more words in the last three years of knowing me (because I love talking), that he has said in the entire thirty years combined before he met me. True story! One of the reasons I love to write, is it’s my way of talking on paper. So, as you can imagine, keeping my mouth shut is a difficult concept to me.
As an effort to be more obedient in my Christian walk with the Lord, I decided I needed to ask the Lord for wisdom to learn how to hold my tongue. Over and over through the Bible, there are Scriptures that says “a truly wise man uses few words” (Proverbs 17:27) Not only is sin lacking with few words, but Scripture says “watching your words and holding your tongue saves you a lot of grief”. (Proverbs 21:23)
I want to be wise. I want to eliminate sin from my life and show my obedience to the Lord. I want to save myself from unnecessary grief. And we can do this by watching our words and holding our tongue.
How do I live life loving to talk and connect while also keeping my mouth shut?
1. Choose your words wisely. You can’t take back words. Once they are out, they can’t return. And as we all may have experienced, they can be damaging. As the “tongue has the power of life or death” (Proverbs 18:21). Learn to pause, measure your words wisely, and think before you speak.
2. Wrestle with God before you wrestle with man. This is something that has transformed how I deal with people. Whenever I am frustrated with just about anything in life, I take some time first to wrestle the situation with God. I could choose to argue with the person through my words because I want to be heard or perhaps, I am just defending myself. But again, words and how you respond can be detrimental. Walk away if you must, and wrestle with God handing the situation over and ask for wisdom from the Holy Spirit on how to respond.
3. Don’t let the enemy fool you. Some of us think if we are talking to other Christians or even our mother about a friend, that’s it’s ok because we are looking for Godly advice and prayer. But be careful, as talking often, typically turns into gossip. Gossip typically turns into judging which both isn’t honoring to God. Consider who you talk to, and who you allow to talk to you. It’s so easy to get caught up in entertaining talk, but nothing good comes from it. Proverbs 20:19 says “a gossip betrays confidence, so avoid anyone who talks too much.”. Learn to pray vs talking it out with a friend.
Let’s honor the Lord in our speech. Choose our words wisely and when we feel we have every right to speak and voice our concerns, lets wrestle with God first. Let’s pray about it, and hear from the Holy Spirit how we should approach the situation. My goal for this year is to become wiser and it starts with keeping my mouth shut.
Alisha Headley is a writer and speaker who has a desire to meet the everyday woman in her everyday life with biblical truth. Healing from a chapter of life consumed with lies she once believed about herself, she is inspired to point women to Christ to experience the freedom and power to overcome those lies with the truth written in God’s word. Alisha is a proud wifey and dog mama living in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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