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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Sunday, August 16

Even fools who keep silent are considered wise; when they close their lips they are deemed intelligent.
—Proverbs 17:28

Words are slippery and powerful things. They sometimes escape from us even when we are trying to hold them in. Our hearts or minds fill up,and it seems that the only way to pour off some of the overflow is to speak. We let words pour out as thoughtlessly as we pour out the extra water in an overfull cup.

Words that spill out of us are frequently unnecessary, unedifying, and more often than not, completely useless. We feel we just can't help ourselves; yet, the words that have not been thought through, that have not had the benefit of care and reflection, can leave us looking and playing the fool.

Imagine for a moment what would happen if we were more reticent to pour off the overfull contents of our souls. If, instead of speaking when we had thoughts, ideas, worries, or images popping up like advertisements in our brains, we chose to become more reflective. If instead of putting our inner self into words, we chose to put our inner self into the vast and quiet heart of God.

We might be surprised to find that words still needed to be spoken, but we would not speak them until they had grown clear in the silence. Or, we might find that they didn't need vocalization at all. In either case, we would discover that heaven had imparted grace to us in the silence, and, with or without words,that grace could be imparted to others.

Gracious God, when I am tempted to speak without thinking, help me close my lips and listen for your Spirit.