In a television program I watched few days ago, a woman nearly lost her fiance because she confided in her so called ‘friends’ during a social gathering, “He is a reckless spender and am worried for our future. To be honest, I don’t think I want to go into a marriage and starve all because of my man’s financial mismanagement”. Somehow, what she said got to the ears of her fiance in a spiced up version and he felt so humiliated that he called off their engagement. He wondered why she would say something like that to the ‘whole world’ to make him a laughing stock and taint his reputation. But the least thing in the mind of this lady was to tarnish the reputation of the one she loved, she was only worried and spoke out her concerns during the gathering, after all, others were sharing their problems. At the end, through the intervention of a close family friend, the couple finally reconciled and she learnt her lesson.
The above is a typical example of the damage impulsive speaking can cause to a person or group. Often times we confuse the term SLOW TO SPEAK with S/HE DOES NOT TALK. A person that does not talk is dumb but that does not mean that they are slow to speak because they have their own medium of communication. If they communicate impulsively just like a person who can talk does, they would fall into the same problem.
What then is SLOW TO SPEAK? It means giving a considerable amount of time (short or lengthy) to thought process before responding. Basically, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. These days, a lot of people speak without thinking because they say “O well, let me just get it out of my chest and forget about it” but the problem is that whatever you say can give a person a lot of information about you, your family or issues you might be facing and unfortunately, if the person you said it to has no good intentions towards you, then whatever you’ve said would most probably be used against you or your loved ones or company in the near or further future.
SLOW TO SPEAK is about LISTENING attentively to both SAID and UNSAID words of a person or people. It is equally a reflection of WISDOM
SLOW TO SPEAK is about self control when the need to respond arises. Let me give a brief biblical example in John 8:1-11 when the Pharisee brought an adulteress to Jesus for permission to stone. They asked of his opinion and check what verse 6 says. His action in that verse should be emulated. I am not saying stoop to the floor and write on the ground but rather do not be in a hurry to give response to people at all time because a times, their intentions are
- To tempt you and
- To get you into trouble with your own words/ response
What lessons can be learnt,
- If your input is needed and relevant at that given point, THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
- If your input is not relevant or needed, don’t force it, just BE QUIET, Its not a must that you have say something. You don’t need people’s attention at all times, you don’t need to impress people by talking or giving your opinions at every given scenario. That’s why today we have GOSSIPERS and BUSY BODIES that keep digging pitfalls for themselves through their words.
- When your response is being sought after but you are not comfortable giving it because you don’t sincerely trust the person asking you for it, you don’t have to respond. Say little to nothing that gives a clear message that you don’t want to talk about it. No ONE WILL KILL YOU if you decide you want to keep quiet.
Remember, there are three kinds of people you are likely talking to
- The Immature people, This kind of people will blab their mouth a lot to people and spread what you have said to them intentionally or unintentionally. 2) they may most likely misunderstand your message and therefore fight with you or call you the enemy, either ways, it will get you in trouble.
- People with no good intention towards you. They would politely get close to you to know more about you so that they can use it against you intentionally when the time comes. These are friendly foes. They are envious and Jealous of you, and your well being does not sit right in their heart. they fake their happiness towards you. and your misery brings comfort to their heart.
- Mature people with good intentions for you. They would always be frank to you sweet or sour but all to your benefit. Deep down, you will always find truth in their advice no matter how painful it may be at the moment. Their end goal is to see a better person in you