“Before we open our mouths, we need to think about not only to whom we’re speaking but also what they may be dealing with at the time and how the news may impact them.” — Karen Ehman, Keep It Shut, pg. 31
In chapter two Karen reminds of of the story of Joseph and how simply sharing his God-given dreams with his brothers caused them to stumble. She shares some incredibly wise points to think about when sharing our dreams and failures with family, friends and other necessary people in our lives. To recap those points:
- Beware of bragging — and the impact your good news could have on others.
- Say what honours God, not what other people want to hear.
- Realize that lies are the minuscule snowflakes in a monumental snowball.
- Give God credit where credit is due.
- Watch your words in the workplace.
- Just because you have a reason to retaliate does not mean you’re justified in doing so.
- Don’t be God.
- Do be nice.
The quote I shared at the beginning of this post is something I have had to learn myself over and over again. I’ve learned the art of obeying to the Holy Spirit on whether to share or not to share a piece of information with the person I am speaking to. There have been times when God has placed something incredibly exciting on my heart, but I was not given the green light to share for a time. Other times, when I have had personal struggles, he also has impressed on me specifically who is safe to share with and to whom I must steer clear.
Three things I know to be true:
1. You need to know who you are speaking to.
Yes, it is true. You must know your audience. If you’re telling information that is not supposed to be shared, simply put — don’t tell someone with loose lips.
“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.” Proverbs 26:20
2. You don’t know what the person is dealing with or how your news will impact them.
Be so careful to share only as the Holy Spirit leads, friends. Even good news can crush a person’s spirit. Be in tune with the Holy Spirit in such a way that you know when He is giving a green light to share as well as when He is giving the red light to withhold.
“They are dismayed for they have heard bad news. Their courage melts because they have heard bad news.” Jeremiah 49:23
3. You may never know what a person is dealing with, and you need to be ok with that.
The Holy Spirit may not give you the ok to share your news with someone because of a personal struggle that only He knows. We need to do better at being ok with not knowing all the details of others lives and simply following the leading of His Holy Spirit.
“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own within them. In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11
Let’s use our mouths to honour God and our people. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment but let’s do our best to be better. Being intentional about first checking with the Holy Spirit on what or what not to share could make all the difference in someone’s life.