When I look back over my early years at how quick I was to give my opinion and advice it embarrasses me, when I’m quick to do it now it makes me ashamed.
Oh how the wise and experienced must have chuckled inside as they listened to me as a young man. They understood. They understood that young people need to talk. The process of working out your beliefs and convictions requires measuring yourself against older and, hopefully, wiser souls.
However, there comes a time when you should have measured the depths and gained your footing. There should be a time when you come to understand that it is not your responsibility to answer every question, take on every challenge, and express (or even have) an opinion about everything.
I don’t know exactly when that time comes, but for me it was somewhere in my late 40’s and early 50’s that I began to learn this.
While I hardly qualify for being “old”, (through it is in sight) the years have begun to accumulate for me and it is so refreshing to just keep my mouth shut now.
Often, in the heat of a debate I will look across the table or room at a older and wiser soul with their mouth shut while all the pontificating is going on and I see the twinkle in their eye and we both know that mostly it is all, quoting Shakespeare (Macbeth), a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
- The ONE THING for today: When a young person is pontificating indulge them—they’re learning. When an old person is blathering on and on about something ignore them—they ought to know better. However, when a wise old person who seldom speaks says something—listen to them; you’ll be drinking from a fount of wisdom and nothing but God’s word beats that life-giving draft.
Do not be rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NKJV)