A time to be quiet and a time to speak up. - Ecclesiastes 3:7

I have a problem. I often open my mouth simply to change feet! I’m always saying the wrong thing! I remember once going to hear a visiting preacher at our church. I was delighted to see two unfamiliar ladies in “my pew.” Our church was small, and visitors were a rarity. I hoped the preacher would be good, and they would like the service and come again. The visiting preacher was not bad—he was terrible!

I watched the visitors carefully. The younger lady, looking embarrassed, glanced at the older one. As soon as the service was over, they rose to leave. I leaped around the pew, welcomed them profusely, and said I hoped they wouldn’t judge the fellowship by this one visit.

“The preacher is usually very good,” I said as quietly as I could. “I don’t know where this man came from.”

“I do,” said the older lady icily. “He’s my husband.”

“And he’s my dad,” added the younger woman balefully.

This was definitely a time I should have kept quiet. Other times, I have kept quiet when I knew I should speak up!

“Who makes mouths?” God asked Moses (Exodus 4:11), when he was busy telling God he wouldn’t be a good speaker. God told Moses to go, for God would help him speak.

My tongue needs teaching, too. I need the Lord God to instruct it when to speak and when to stay silent. I need to use it, to ask him to touch it, tame it, and turn it into an instrument of blessing!

For Further Study: Ecclesiastes 3:1-7

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.