BY KEVIN WELBORN
I have now officially been without my full voice for two weeks. At this point I can communicate clearly, but depending on the time I either sound like Whoopi Goldberg or a pubescent Peter Brady. It is irritating, infuriating, and irksome. With the heat of the Saharan sun do I scorn my current deficient vocal aptitude!!!
Being able to speak as a pastor is fairly, you know, important.
As a general rule, I do not think that I talk that much. When a subject in which I am interested is broached, I will surely jump into that conversation. Or, there are times when it is nice just to say your piece to a willing listener and let go of some thoughts be they consequential or not.
Whether you are reserved or a chatterbox, let me encourage you to remember there is a large difference in having something to say, and in having to say something.
I can think of two specific examples of men that I know or have known that rarely spoke a word.
They were as friendly as anyone in town, but were far from vociferous. Both were content to be in the background, available to assist in any need that might present itself.
Do you know the amazing thing about these men? When either one did voice his opinion everyone within earshot listened intently. The hearers knew that what was being said was important because of the one who was speaking. I am convinced (because I saw it happen) that almost without fail, whatever these men suggested came into fruition. Why? They had something to say.
Christian, stop talking so much.
You may be very opinionated. But, is it encouraging, is it helpful? Does it point people to Jesus?
It may be juicy hearsay. Shut up. Whether it’s true or not does not matter. Your job as a believer is to let that die. Are you comfortable standing before the Lord with everything you have ever said about someone behind their back? If so, you win the pennant. If not, consider your ways and change.
Can’t believe the shortcomings of others? That sort of thing makes you feel better about yourself? Recall the words of the Lord on who was justified in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.
Old timers say that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen twice as much as you speak. Very few of us regret the things left unsaid, but almost all of us regret things that we did say out of emotion.
James 1:19 says, “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”
Proverbs 29:20, “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than him.”
Proverbs 10:19, “When there are many words, TRANSGRESSION IS UNAVOIDABLE, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” The all caps are mine, btw. And the bold text.
There are so many portions of Scripture that deal with the subject.
Remember the apostles in the book of Acts? The ones that were executed for their faith in Jesus? Do you remember that they also couldn’t keep a lid on their mouth?
Acts 4:20, “we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard”
They had seen Jesus crucified and then alive again. And they could not keep quiet about it. He had changed them, and they were willing to tell anyone even if it meant death.
If we are to be guilty of talking too much about any subject, let it be of the Savior.
Kevin Welborn is the pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Clovis, NM. He is married and has two daughters. He loves his native Texas, sports, and exploring creation. The most famous person he has ever met is someone you have never heard of. You can contact Kevin on Twitter at @theKevinWelborn.