By Eddie Lowen
(From our series “The Best or Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received.”)
“Always speak your mind.” That’s the worst advice I’ve ever received.
Buried beneath the rubble caused by this axiom, there is a bit of noble instruction: be honest and transparent. There are times when “a word aptly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11, NIV, 1984) is refreshing and important. A bold word of truth can turn a conversation or decision or life in the right direction.
However, people who announce, “I’m an open book,” or, “You always know where I stand,” are often belligerent people in search of justification (think Facebook). The New Testament values discretion over audacity in the words we speak. James 1:19 says, “Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak.” Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
It is better to mind my speak than speak my mind.
Eddie Lowen serves as lead minister with West Side Christian Church, Springfield, Illinois.