Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
President Abraham Lincoln, nearly 3000 years after King Solomon wrote his proverbs, agreed with this inspired rule of wisdom and public discourse (or lack thereof) by his well-known words, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
The simple fact is…the more we talk, the more we sin. In light of this truth, I taught my kids years ago that sometimes the most Christlike think they can do is…shut up! While some people don’t talk enough, most of us tend to talk too much, and as a talk radio show host, I certainly understand the pitfalls of that mistake. We speak our mind without first checking our heart. We fear what people will think of us if we don’t have something to say about everything. We assume that the more we talk, the more learned we sound, while all the while we might be going public with our lack of wisdom.
You may have noticed that the more spiritually mature people tend to be rather reserved when it comes to how often they speak up. They listen intently, process carefully, and speak up reservedly…and when they do? It packs a punch. The fool, on the other hand, jumps into the fray and puts his lack of knowledge and judgment on display. What he lacks in wisdom he makes up for in word count. But when he stays silent? There is no evidence to offer that will put his ignorance on the stand.
The Lord Jesus Christ warned that you will give an account for every idle word in the Day of Judgment (Matt 12:36), so provide wisely for your future at His judgment seat and protect your present reputation by holding your peace and shutting your lips. Here is a double blessing, at least: Please God and men by reducing the frequency of your words and the volume of your sin.