Have you ever come across people who think they have answers to all questions? They act as if they know everything and always had a comment about every subject of discussion. Some of them practically complete all your sentences for you. They often take over the conversation and make others look stupid. I have come across several of such people and let me guess….. you are probably one of them.
Now you want to know if this is a character problem. Not necessarily. In most cases people who have this habit are not dull people. Some of them are actually smart people who just don’t know when to shut their mouth and remain silent. Knowing when to talk and when to remain silent is what distinguishes a wise man from a foolish one.
While it has been confirmed that talk is cheap, I read from scripture that “even a fool, when he holdeth his peace is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding” (Prov 17:29). The Amplified version says “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent: with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent”… Hmmm! This is interesting. It simply means Knowing what to say and how to say it are as important as knowing when to say what you know. Put simply, there is a time when silence is golden.
Let me share a practical example. I was at a management meeting sometimes ago where various Heads of Units were represented. The subject matter was a very sensitive one that was eventually resolved after several deliberations. In closing the Chairman (just for formality sake) asked if there was any other comment. Surprisingly, one of the management staff who I have always respected stood up and made the greatest mistake of his career by his comments. Today, when I remember this incident, I wish he had shut his mouth.
In this Sorosoke (Speak up) generation, talk has become so discounted and has landed many in trouble. People who have no idea of a subject matter go publicly to make statements only to return a few days later with an apology. Many lack the depth of knowledge on a subject matter and yet they discussed it with impunity. Wisdom indeed is profitable for direction so I admonish us to go for knowledge and above knowledge pursue wisdom passionately. It is only by divine wisdom that a man’s words become golden.
I always advise people to “be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]” (James 1:19 APV). Read https://glitter-s.com/2020/09/15/be-calm-please-listen/ Where you are boxed into a corner and you must respond there is nothing wrong with saying things like; I will get back to you on this matter or can you give me some time to investigate this?
It is also always advisable to invest time in reading. However no one has a monopoly of knowledge. You can know a little of many things but cannot be an expert on all things. It is therefore important to speak with authority only on things you know about and when it is appropriate.
Keeping quiet until you get all facts about a matter does not make you a mumu (foolish man). Sometimes it is simply wise to say nothing. Learn when to speak and that rightly. Silence indeed can be golden but only to the wise.