2 Timothy 2:16-17a Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. This kind of talk spreads like cancer.
We so often talk to be heard... just to be heard. All of us have been guilty of thinking about what we can add to a conversation instead of really, actually listening to the conversation. We all want to be heard... we all need to be heard. But, we don't always need to be talking. Oh, and I do love to talk!! I am learning to listen, to stop and think "Do I really need to be adding to 'this' conversation?" If the conversation is about somebody, or about how people act I am learning to keep my mouth shut. To just be a listener. If the conversation is complaining, complaining about anything and everything I am learning to keep my mouth shut.
In my quite I have noticed how conversations of complaining just spread like wildfire. People jump on those conversations like they are a new roller coaster at the amusement park. Before you know a happy room full of people have traveled down the tracks at a breakneck speed and before you know it they are at the end of the ride with a changed attitude.
When the talk is about people the ride seems to take a turn into dark places ... a lot like haunted houses getting worse with each turn of the ride. Before you know it somebody that was having a bad day and didn't speak to somebody, has become somebody too stuck up to ever speak to anybody.
Now that I am learning to keep my mouth shut when I see that a conversation is going in a direction that would make God shake his head I hear so much of what happens to to those kind of conversations. It is amazing to watch and listen when you are not intent on being heard. Now I am not saying it is always easy!! But in the end I am finding it so worth it. I am learning when I don't add to conversation about people I feel better about me!! When I don't add to conversation about how lousy our government is... I feel better about me. I have also noticed how my thought pattern has changed when I know I am just going to keep my mouth shut. So often I see how I can improve. For instance the other night I was at a place where people just keep talking bad about our government. Mind you our government could use some improvement... but this conversation just lead to unhappiness and grumbling and complaining. Then a room full of women who were having a good time up until this point lost all their joy and people started going home. They were having fun!! I thought as I sat there about how the Bible says that we are not to talk about our leaders ( Ecclesiastes 10:20). I also though about how the Bible says that we are to pray for our government. Jeremiah 29:7 says "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” I knew that I would never change what I didn't like about our government by sitting there complaining... in fact I could add to the destruction of our nation by compiling and speaking destruction over our country. Instead of complaining about our government I needed to be in prayer about our government. Right then and there I knew that each time I heard people complain that my job was to say a prayer, to ask God for help.
Our words have the power to destroy peoplem lives and cities. Or our words have the power to build each other up. To compliment, to encourage to teach. Our prayers have the power of God behind them... and there is nothing more powerful than God. I am learning that I want my words to add strength to the people around me...I want my words to make my country stronger... I want my words to make people feel loved. I must avoid worthless, foolish talk, God tells me to avoid worthless, foolish talk. God wants only good for us!! When we learn to be quite and listen he tells us so much!