A Word to the Wise

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Have you ever wished you would’ve just kept your mouth shut? Abraham Lincoln once said “Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” Amen to that brother. There have been plenty of times I wish I would’ve kept my mouth shut. The thing is that during those moments, even though I know better, I just can’t seem to help myself. I know I shouldn’t say anything but I do anyway and afterwards I always end up feeling very foolish. According to Scripture that”s exactly what I am.

Listen to this, “A fool gives vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Prov. 29:11)

I read this the other day in my quality time with God and it really hit home. If you know me then you know I’m not the kind of person to hold a grudge or stay mad about anything. In fact, you would probably say that I’m generally a pretty laid back person, and I am. If you know me well then you also know that I have my moments, and I have them more often than I’d like to admit. It’s true that I don’t usually stay mad about anything for very long but that’s not the same as not getting mad. When I get angry or irritated about something it usually comes on me pretty quick and those are the times I open my mouth when I know better.

Here’s a real life example of how that plays out. A couple of weeks ago I was on a mission trip with a small team. We had a tremendous week of preaching and teaching and had been enjoying a great time of fellowship with each other all week. By the end of the week we were tired and ready to be home but we were still full of joy from a week just serving Godtogether. Then I got irritated (that’s a nice way of saying I was fit to be tied). Here’s what happened. I was missing my family whom I hadn’t seen for eight days and I had spent about nine hours going through airports, security, customs, etc and sitting next to total strangers (one of whom really liked to talk… a lot). We had one more flight to go and it was only supposed to take an hour, I was almost home. Then I find out that we landed forty five minutes late and that we missed our departing flight by fifteen minutes. That’s okay though, because come to find out that flight had been canceled anyway and we had been rescheduled to fly out the following day, a mere twenty-two hours later. The good news is that our luggage had been sent ahead of us AND we would get a discounted hotel rate. Yeah… I swelled up like toad. Needless to say I gave full vent to my spirit. I have to commend the rest of the mission team for being very patient and understanding with me (they were in the same situation after all). I guess they thought I was throwing enough of a fit for all of us. It’s really good to have Christian brothers and sisters who understand grace and will love us even when we’re not lovable.

I said all that to say this, what’s the point? Having a bad attitude and swelling up didn’t change anything. It didn’t get me home any sooner and it sure didn’t bless the people around me. I guess my point is this. There may be wisdom in words sometimes, but there is most definitely wisdom in knowing when to be silent. God certainly has a way of teaching us these things doesn’t He? I just wish I wasn’t such a slow learner.

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