Such a wrenching riddle: when to speak, and when to remain silent. Who to speak to and who to be very careful not to.
The power of death and life is in the tongue. That’s what Proverbs’ wisdom says, as does James in his epistle, warning about the power of the tongue. And many/most, maybe all of us need to be much more careful about speaking than we are. So much evil, so much harm can come from hateful and thoughtless or contrived and cunning words.
And then there’s another hazard of talk:
“Loose lips sink ships,” said the WWII motto.
There’s a corollary to that: “Loose tweets sink fleets!”
The thing is, we can’t always readily identify the enemy. Of course they’re out there, able to read Twitter feed, but they may also be living right next to us. They may be sitting in the pew next to us. They may even be sleeping in our home with us. But we don’t want to believe that; so we can get very careless, and unwittingly blab whatever we think we know when it’s best some toxic people don’t hear it, and seize our “information” to hurt someone else, or even ourselves.
So keeping mum can be vital. Some talk can make certain people unsafe.
On the other hand, some secrets kept silent keep some people unsafe. Some silence hides serious harm, deep wounds, hidden abuse, and destruction of hearts and souls.
When to keep silent and when to speak? So hard to know. Listening first, as James advises, seems crucial, and I believe he means listening to God foremost, as I pay attention to his words’ context.
So I am listening and considering. Then, perhaps I’ll speak…
Linked to Five Minute Friday/”Speak.”