Skip to main content

Good sense dictates it!

Have you ever been accused of being a little too "chatty" - always talking away, not really intent on any particular subject, just talking non-stop?  I have one child who is quiet, content to sit for long periods without so much as a word, while another is just the opposite. This isn't unusual, as most of us have differences in how it is we "interact" with others.  In fact, if you consider your immediate family, you will find there are those who are reserved, others outgoing.  It is kind of a dangerous position to find oneself in, though, when we are a little "too chatty".  Why?  There are times when we don't always consider the words we use - because we aren't quiet long enough to consider the way we say them, the content we use in saying them, and how it is another may receive them.  The "chatty" run into problems because they are too chatty - the "quiet" run into their share of problems because no one really knows what they are thinking or what their true feelings are about a situation.  The use of "good sense" in communicating with one another is important - because it keeps us from running over the feelings of another, and it also brings us to a place of consideration of the uniqueness of each individual.  I have said it before, but it bears saying again:  Words matter just as much as the ones which remain unspoken!

If you have good sense, you will listen and obey; if all you do is talk, you will destroy yourself. You will be safe, if you always do right, but you will get caught, if you are dishonest. Deceit causes trouble, and foolish talk will bring you to ruin. The words of good people are a source of life, but evil hides behind the words of the wicked.  (Proverbs 10:8-11 CEV)

The dangerous part about being "too chatty" is our tendency to even "talk over" God when he is trying to speak to us!  If we cannot get quiet long enough to hear from him, we stand the chance of charging ahead full-speed into things God doesn't desire for us.  We get into the middle of muddles and find ourselves struggling with things we shouldn't have had to struggle with in the first place.  The warning is quite clear:  If all you do is talk, you will destroy yourself.  Talk not only impedes listening - it is "cheap".  It doesn't cost us anything until someone "calls us" on what it is we have said.  I have found myself in many a "prove it to me" situation simply because I said something without thinking and then have to prove I meant it!  Awkward!  We need a balance between what we say and how well we are listening to what else is being said, or not said, around us.

If we have good sense, we will listen and obey.  This gives us a hint into a truth we might just want to consider - obedience isn't found in our activity, but in our attentiveness!  We often find ourselves in places of compromise because we were too busy with something else to actually pay attention to what we were doing.  We often think victory over sin in our lives is in doing the right things - "doing" is best when it is preceded by "listening"!  Listening doesn't happen by accident - it is purposeful and it takes a lot of focus.  Focus is intentional and it is also "directional".  You much choose your focus carefully - otherwise you find yourself listening to the wrong stuff!  Even worse, the one you may be listening to could just be yourself!  If you haven't figured it out by now - your "self" is kind if fickle!

Ernest Hemingway once said, "When people talks, listen completely."  There is something to this idea of "listening completely".  "Complete" suggests being undivided in your attention. If you have a tendency to divide your attention once in a while, you know how easily you can actually miss "content" in a discussion!  You come "back into the conversation" with a little bit of this and that, but you will have missed a good deal of the "context" of the conversation. If you have ever been caught "distracted" in conversation, you know how embarrassing that can be!  You actually look a little dumbfounded when you are expected to give an answer! Others might call this "having egg on one's face".  Either way, not where we want to find ourselves - especially when it is God who has been speaking and we have only been half-heartedly paying attention!

Proverbs is rich in advice about our ears and our tongue.  Listening and speaking go hand-in-hand.  They both get us into so much trouble - but equally as important - they both have the potential to give us the wisdom to act appropriately!  You have probably heard the expression:  God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak.  This is based on something Zino of Citium, a Greek philosopher, once said.  There is much truth in this wisdom, though. It may not be biblically based, but I think God may just approve the wisdom in these words!  So, today as we set out to explore our world, let us keep in mind the wisdom of "listening" first, speaking second, and maybe we just might learn something new from each other today!  Just listening!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us. We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledg

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdraw