It’s easy to understand why God gave us one mouth and two ears–so we could listen more than we speak. Yet how many of us continually lose the battle of speaking before we’ve really prayed and thought out what we should say? The discipline of resisting to speak too soon or too much comes out of our submission to the Holy Spirit. As we humble ourselves to follow His leading rather than our fleshly desires, our words become fewer. How can we learn to be slower to speak and quicker to listen?
#1) Start with confession to God of our weakness in this area (1 John 1:9). If we are constantly speaking out of turn too often and without restraint, we need to seek God’s forgiveness as well as the forgiveness of those we have offended.
#2) Begin each day with the prayer of asking God to set a guard over our mouths (Psalm 141:3). If this is our weakness, then we need to make it a point to pray for God’s help to keep our mouths closed.
#3) Listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting when we are engaged in a conversation (John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts to say what needs to be said and what needs to not be spoken.
#4) Look for opportunities where we could refrain from speaking even if we want to do so (James 1:19). Our flesh drives us to speak when we should be quiet; however, the power of God helps us to restrain our speech.
#5) Make a pact within ourselves to intentionally speak words of encouragement and edification for those around us (Ephesians 4:29). Our intentional speech will bring new life and hope to those around us.
Dear Lord, I confess that I talk too much. I pray for forgiveness and the strength to discipline myself in this area of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.