It has been said that people fall into 3 different categories when it comes to their speech. Some people are more prone to think before they speak. They are more likely to choose their words carefully and to limit the amount of their ideas that they are willing to share. They often appear to be very good listeners and like to be prepared if they are called upon to speak. There are other people who prefer to think while they speak. They process their ideas as they express them, change their minds, and are able to think quickly. Usually they interact quite freely and openly with those who are engaged in the conversation. Finally there are many people who simply speak without much thought. They have lots of ideas and stories and only need an audience so that they can express or share them. This kind of spontaneous conversation can be extremely entertaining or informative, but it can also be embarrassing and inappropriate. Of course, while most of us are probably more likely to fit into one of the categories most of the time, none of us are limited to any particular type of communication.
You probably can easily think of people who could serve as illustrations for each of these groups. As you do, it is good to remember that there are both positive and negative aspects to every style, aren’t there? Perhaps that is why there are more proverbs about our speech, lips, tongue and words than any other category. More than 150 times Solomon and the other writers give us wisdom and insights about speech (and silence) and how it can be used for good or for evil, for kindness or for destruction.
Whether you are blessed with the ability to share your thoughts freely and easily wherever and whenever you are given the opportunity to do so or you are more timid and reserved when it comes to speaking out, there is a principle in Solomon’s book of Ecclesiastes (3:7), that could easily be posted in all of our homes. “There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Aren’t you thankful that the Holy Spirit can actually guide us in the application of this truth every day and in every situation?