Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thinking Twice

We were catching up on her family news. She bragged about each of her adult children and their families, and I was genuinely delighted in the blessings right along with her. Then she leaned in close to me and whispered a fact about one of them, and said, “But no one else knows!” Continuing in a confidential whisper, she explained a number of glad and wonderful details. It was the type of good news I would have liked to share with my husband or family, and they, too, would have rejoiced.

But something about the way she told me the news made me pause. My thought was, “Actually, even though this is very good news, it’s not yours to share.” Later that evening, I thought that even though my friend knows I can be trusted with confidential information, she was probably wishing her mouth had a backspace key.

The next day she phoned and begged me to not tell anyone. (Yep, there she did it, *delete.*) I was glad I could tell her, “I haven’t shared this news; and I won’t!"

Will Rogers once said, “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” What is it about being human that makes it so hard for us to keep quiet? It goes without saying that we should not slander, gossip, or meddle, but we should also know when it is time to use discretion in our conversations. A study of the word “discretion” in Scripture seems to indicate acting with a plan, and being perceptive, prudent, and discerning. Hmm. Like “thinking twice” before we speak.

Proverbs 2:11 says that discretion will preserve, or guard us. Indeed. If we use a little more discretion, perhaps we’ll not be wishing as often for that backspace key.

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