Have you ever noticed that there is an inverse relationship between talking and listening? The more you talk, the less people listen to you. My dad has found this to be true in the legislature also. Some legislators always have an opinion on the matter at hand, and they always have to be heard on it. They talk and talk and talk, but it only takes so long before most of the people in the chamber are playing solitaire or calling home instead of listening. On the other hand, if a legislator is not known for getting up and talking much in front of everyone, whenever he actually does people sit up and listen. What caused him to decide to get up and say something for once? They want to know.
The same holds true for life in general. The more opinions you have and insist on broadcasting, the less people are likely to listen to you, whether it’s in a meeting, from the other side of the coffee pot, or online. Which leads me to wonder, is it worth having such strong opinions on so many topics? Do we honestly need to stake our flag on every molehill that comes up?
Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
Maybe we need to prioritize what we spend so much time and energy having forceful opinions about. There are some issues that do deserve to be examined (respectfully) and discussed. There are topics that we do need to take a stand on. But the number of them is significantly fewer than Facebook would indicate. Before you go out and stake your flag, I encourage you to take a step back and consider – Does this subject really matter in the grand scheme of things, or is it just another “cause” that Facebook people decided needed broadcasted all over the face of the internet? Remember that there is never any lack of opinions on any given topic. What is it about what you have to say that makes it unique and necessary to share? Maybe it’s something that’s better kept to yourself unless someone asks you about it.
And remember what Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy, “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.”
Let’s face it. Sometimes the molehills just aren’t worth the bother. But what we say and how we say it is incredibly important to God. Let’s try to keep our speech to the things that are “good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)