I remember one wonderful July night some years ago while I was on vacation with my sister-in-law’s big family. They rented a cottage on Lake Michigan every year. After a full day of sun and beach, the evenings were always given over to a favorite board game. Trivial Pursuit was popular that year and we were playing it all the time. Competition was intense.
This particular night an old friend of their family who lived at the lake year round came over and joined the game. He was likable but quiet — in direct contrast to our noisy crew who kept yelling and talking over each other. Yet no matter how fast and loud we talked, his team always won.
He said almost nothing until crunch time. His team would be floating various answers and we would hold our breath knowing they were wrong. Then everyone would look at this guy. The room would go silent. He would say a few sentences about the different possibilities and then invariably give the right answer. Ugh! He may not have said much but whatever he DID say you could take to the bank.
The Bible says that; “When a good man speaks, he is worth listening to, but the words of fools are a dime a dozen”(Proverbs 10:19). Oh how often I have played the fool by speaking first and thinking second. Oh how often my words have been a dime a dozen. Do you have that problem too or are you like the quiet guy with the good answers?
The Lake Michigan man had no idea but in his own way he made a lasting impression on me. I’ve worked over the years to tame my unruly tongue and I’m still working on it. What if the room fell silent before I was about to speak? Yes, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather say less and have it be worth more.