the baby and the bathwater


Wisdom 4: Giving air-time
March 4, 2009, 7:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The tongue of the righteous is choice silver but the heart of the wicked is of little value (Proverbs 10:20)

Have you ever noticed that when you are with some people, you just want them to be quiet. They seem to throw many words and opinions at you without coming up for breath, and within a very short period you end up getting a headache. It’s as though the words they are uttering just fill your moments with noise: not just the physical noise of the sounds they make, but the intellectual and emotional noise that comes with them.

Then there are some people who, when they speak, in some way bring calm, bring sense, bring order and clarity. They use choice words and articulate their views well.

In my experience the ranting and the raving of the first type of person, and the energy with which they throw their toys out of the pram more often than not take the limelight, grab people’s attention. They win the day and get their way because we are too lazy to wait for anything better.

So I am learning that, not only do I want to be someone who chooses their words carefully, and expresses views with clarity, and brings order to the situations I find myself part of, but I also want to be more intentional about listening to others who speak this way.

I want my words to be like choice silver. But I also want to listen for the choice silver in the voices of others.

You see, people rant and rave, partly because they don’t know otherwise, but also because people give them air time. And maybe if we stopped listening to them, they would eventually be quiet.

May be we should try.

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