Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Better Left Unsaid by Martin Wiles

Just because it can be said doesn’t mean it should be.

They come in various shapes and sizes. Some appear overly wide with large lips and teeth to match. Others seem so small as to make one wonder whether they’re capable of functioning at all. Some are attached to flawless faces while others are implanted on faces scarred with physical disfigurements. Regardless of the shape or size or what type of face they’re connected to, all mouths have the ability to do the same thing: speak. And therein lies the dilemma. For while they can be used for much good, they’re often used for the opposite. 

Gene Hackman, in the movie Mississippi Burning, said to his boss, “You don't know when to speak and when to shut up! That makes you a fool!” Joseph, it seems, had the same problem. One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. (Genesis 37:5 NLT) No doubt Joseph was excited about the sketchy details God had given him concerning his bright future, but this favored son may have stirred the pot a bit when relaying his two dreams to his family. 

When speaking, I should consider whether what I’m saying is necessary. Not everything I know must be spoken. Some things are better left unsaid. Or if I feel I must disclose them, the manner in which I share them is important. I’ve learned I don’t have to communicate everything I know even if it is the truth. 

My shared words should also be kind. One popular daytime talk show host always ends her show with the challenge: “Be kind to one another.” Not bad advice. 

Another matter for consideration is whether what I share builds others up or tears them down. Are my words helpful? If not, I should probably keep them to myself. 

When you’re thinking of sharing a group of words, consider: “Would this be better left unsaid?”

Prayer: Father in heaven, make the words of our mouths pleasing in Your sight.

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