READ Nehemiah 2:11-18
Have you ever listened to someone talk about something they have no clue about? Embarrassing for them isn’t it? Have you ever considered the possibility that sometimes we all sound like that? In our modern society, free speech has become a priority. As a result the people of our nation seem to have developed the need to have an opinion on everything. The problem with that is, we can’t possibly be educated in every sphere in which we carry an opinion. That leaves us open to, at best, being a fool, at worst guiding other people into erroneous thinking with our uninformed opinions.
Contrary to popular culture, Nehemiah had a unique and valuable skill. He knew how to be silent until he was educated fully in the matter at hand.
When he arrives in Jerusalem he doesn’t run around spouting opinions on what the people should do, or how the place could be improved, until he puts in the effort of getting his facts right. By night, he makes a circuit of the city walls, examining every nook and cranny, seeing for himself the truth of the situation. He doesn’t just rely on something his brother told him; he goes and finds out the truth for himself. This took effort! It is much easier to rely on hearsay than chase down truth. But that wasn’t a trade off Nehemiah was willing to make.
So the next day, as he stands before the community to address the problem of the walls, he can do so with authority, because he has the actual facts.
So much damage is done when we wield our opinions about like weapons without first ascertaining the facts. Worse still is when we accept another person’s poorly formed opinion as our truth. God’s word prioritizes truth and as followers of Christ we must too. Therefore we must all learn to hold our tongues until we are in possession of the facts, and sometimes, even then.
As someone once said, “Better to be silent and be accused of being a fool, than open your mouth and prove it to be so.”
Lord, help me reserve my tongue for truth. Amen.