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Ecclesiastes 5:1 (NIV) – Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.
What is it about us that makes us so like the sound of our own voice? We prattle about this and that, pontificate and pronounce our opinions on everything as if we were something special.
How smart is that, really? Or, let me ask the question a bit differently: how often has your mouth and your words gotten you into trouble because you said something that either was true or was deceitful, hurtful, boastful, derogatory or just plain malicious? Or, how many times have you stuck your foot in your mouth and said something really “stupid”?
It isn’t unique to unbelievers…we Christians are often just as bad because we think we’ve got all the truth locked down so tightly that we just couldn’t possibly be wrong about our opinion on this or that. And, it’s not wise.
There are times when I think I don’t say enough, but you know what I’ve found? I have found that I learn immensely more when my mouth is shut and my ears are open than the other way around.
The writer of Ecclesiastes cautions us to not be quick with our mouths or to utter anything before God. He wasn’t talking about just when we go into worship, but at all times because we are never out of God’s Presence.
I suspect there would be a lot less hurt and pain in the world if we kept our words to ourselves and listened more to others.
PRAYER: Teach us to be good listeners but people of few words! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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