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The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
I tend to speak loudly, especially when I’m excited or angry. My voice rises higher and higher. If you listen to me here on Breaking Bread or through my business podcast, you know that sometimes I’m so passionate and excited that I’m just loud. I don’t always realize it until someone says something or when I’ve stopped speaking, and I hear someone else speaking loudly, and then I wonder, “Oh jeesh was I that loud?” Or when I hear myself on playback, I’m like, “Whoo turn the volume down!” I come from a large family of loud speakers. We really don’t need a microphone to be heard in a room. Our voices can carry quite well. I’m not making excuses; just giving you context and insight into the environment where I grew up and have grown accustomed to imitating. Get us laughing or singing, and we can sound like twice the number of people in a given space. Turn on sports, and “it’s a wrap,” as the saying goes. The same is true when we argue. The passion is so intense that, if bottled up, it could be used to ignite something. It comes from being from a large family and having so many voices to navigate through and be heard; you have to get that voice kicked up a few notches. I don’t know. Just a theory I haven’t actually explored.
So how can a person’s tendency to speak loudly cause a communication breakdown? Well, if we are not actively listening to the other person, then our voice is flooding the conversation and creating more noise than clarity. And is the other person capable of truly hearing and understanding you if they are too busy straining? Shouting can distract you from discerning the facts, what is true versus what’s false, and what was said or omitted. And how can you hear God’s faint whisper if you’re yelling, shouting, or screaming — or forcing yourself to listen to it?
I was shy and soft-spoken as a child; teachers, other adults, and children always told me to “speak up.” What I find interesting, though, is that people actually pay closer attention to what I’m saying when I speak softer. They have to strain and force out the noise to hear me, which means they also can’t be blabbering away. I always test this out when teaching or speaking to a group in person. It works wonders in an auditorium. People have that bewildered look on their faces because they know they just missed something, and now they wish I would repeat myself so they can fill in that gap. So yeah, it doesn’t work well when watching a sporting event, jamming at a concert, playing a card or board game, or cracking jokes. But it leaves an impression when dealing with matters of the heart, intense topics, and the like. I wish I remembered this when I’m hurt or upset instead of yelling to get my point across.
When we look at the world around us and the nonsense that plagues our communities, governments, and businesses, look closely at who is leading the charge. Look at who the news cameras zoom towards. Have you noticed a trend? And we see the parade of fools walking behind whom? The shouting ruler.
When dealing with matters that impact our souls, we must be mindful of who we’re listening to and following. Let’s not be as casual as we are over a ball game.
Something else to consider is that wisdom does not always have to be spoken aloud, expressed with words. Body language speaks volumes, as does walking away from an unfavorable environment. Let me leave you with some parting words. Remember, the loudest in the room could be hard of hearing, the biggest fool, or both, and not necessarily the one to pay attention to. They could also just be a person raised around other loud people, which comes naturally to them. When in doubt, ask God. Seek His guidance to discern the fool from the wise, truth from lies, and God’s path from the enemy’s cleverly covered pit.
Father, I ask for wisdom through Your guidance and Word; the knowledge of experience, others and my own; the teachings of mentors and advisors; and from learning from others mistakes, failures and achievements.
I ask that You lovingly remind me of the value of quiet words and even silence— when words are not necessary. I’m trying to learn to control my tone so that I can always hear and respond to Your Voice. In Your Name I humbly pray. Amen.
And with that family, I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
Copyright 2011-2023. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com