“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” Proverbs 17:27-28
I’ve never been known as one who keeps her mouth shut. In fact, the most trouble I have gotten into throughout my life has been because of my mouth. Even when I was a little girl, my mom would find angry letters to the editor about some injustice by my standards that needed speaking up over. She would later tell me that she would go behind my back and throw those letters away. I could give more recent examples but I’ll spare myself the embarrassment and trust that you will take my word for it.
When I started blogging again, I read many articles and blog posts about how to build and maintain your blog readership. One of the proven ways is to blog often and consistently. Honestly I have struggled with this. For one I have a two-year-old, not to mention a husband, house and part-time job. (And those are just the biggest ones!) Secondly, I haven’t been able to afford to make blogging my full-time or even part-time job (but that would be the ultimate dream though!). But most importantly, and I am getting to my point, I want to be intentional, thoughtful and careful with each post. Perhaps you have read a post where you thought I was careless, but so far I haven’t regretted anything I have written and feel I can give a proper defense if needed.
I am noticing a growing problem, however, especially in the Christian blogging world. Bloggers are placing more emphasis and value on blogging often and consistently (in order to build and keep a readership) rather than blogging carefully. We have bowed down to the need for expediency and maintaing an audience at the risk of writing careless and sometimes even damaging words. We have discarded the wise heeding of the proverbs and instead have spoken where we should have been quiet.
The point is sometimes it is better to be quiet. When I haven’t posted in a while it might mean life is happening and I just haven’t had time. But it might mean I am mulling over many things I want to say but am not ready to say. In fact there are at least three posts I have been writing and editing for a month now. I also don’t post without my husband’s careful reading and editing because he is my sounding board (even with this post!). And sometimes it takes him awhile to get to it.
I am a fool, no doubt, because I often run my mouth when I shouldn’t. I say careless and stupid things from time to time. I can be easily angered and foolish in my response. But the older I get the more I am learning about the wisdom of being silent in all areas of my life, especially where my writing is concerned. I want to be silent for a time so that when I have something to say it will be helpful to Christ’s Church, in line (and not in contention) with the gospel, exegetically and theologically sound, and thoughtful. Perhaps I will never garner a large following or win blogging awards (if those things exist), but I want to please the Lord with my words and with my silence. I want to be found wise and intelligent in learning to close my mouth, and as the old adage goes, “Think before you speak.”