Words Matter: What You Don’t Say

“A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.” (Proverbs 12:23)

I’ll admit; I’ve done it. Maybe you have, too. Propelled by insecurity – afraid the smart people around me wouldn’t know I was smart, too – I’ve brought up topics in conversation just so I could show off how much I knew about them.

words_350I’ve even spewed every last fact in my head about things I didn’t really know that much about, sometimes making up details and delivering them with fake confidence. I was foolish.

Sometimes fools, looking to feel significant or just unable to stop the words from spilling out, even reveal information that could expose them or others to genuine danger. (Think passwords, troop movements, a good friend’s secrets.)

A wise person asks: “Who am I helping besides myself by what I’m about to say?” If the answer is, “Nobody,” the wise person leaves that bit of knowledge left unsaid. If I only speak to serve myself, I’ll just make it obvious more quickly what a fool I really am.

Do: Be honest with yourself: How often do you blurt knowledge just to build yourself up in the eyes of others? What do you think when you realize other people are doing that with you?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be prudent and not share knowledge foolishly.

Do: Listen this week for foolish talkers blurting out folly and try to catch some wise friends not sharing all they know.