There are times we should speak, and times we should refrain from speaking. It is often necessary that we speak, but when we’re done, we should know when it’s time to shut up, but not everyone does. So many times we speak something good, and then follow it up with something bad, undoing the good we just spoke, and later wish we had kept our mouth shut. It’s a human condition, and most of us have done it. Some call it, “Open mouth, insert foot.” And that’s putting it kindly.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 says, “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”

The problem we run into is not knowing the difference between when to speak, and when not to. Many of the problems we face in life are due to running our mouth, and we could avoid a lot of trouble if we could master our words. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:20-21,
20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

If we were more aware of the power of our words, perhaps we would be more careful about what we say. Verse 21 warns “ DEATH AND LIFE are in the power of the tongue….“We should ask ourselves, “Do the words of my mouth bring life and blessing to me, and to those who hear them, or destruction and death?” But far too often, we speak before we consider the consequences of our words. You know, once we’ve said those words, we can’t “unsay” them, that is to make it as if they weren’t said. They will go forth and we can’t undo it. It’s done, whether good or bad, and we will live with the consequences.

Now, if we speak GOOD things, fine. But what if what we say ISN’T good? It is written in Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Why are we told to think on those things? Because, sooner or later, what you’re thinking will come out of your mouth. So if you’re going to eat your words, make sure they’re sweet, right?

Well, every day we are offered opportunities to speak our mind, and what we speak will shape our world, and whether or not you agree with that, doesn’t change the fact that your words affect situations and people around you. For example, you’re driving down the road and get pulled over by the Police. Nobody likes that, so you ask the officer, “Did you take a break from eating donuts to pull me over, don’t you have anything better to do?” No doubt, that will set the mood for the rest of your day.

Ok, consider this; do you ever pray and ask God for something, earnestly believing for the manifestation of it, only to have someone ask you if your prayer has been answered, and you say “Well, maybe it’ll happen, maybe not, you never know what God’s going to do”? The time to speak was when you prayed, and the time to shut up was when doubt entered your mind. Faith never gives voice to doubt. Remember that.

There’s an account in Mark chapter 5 of Jairus having a daughter that was sick, close to death, and he went to Jesus for help. Let’s pick it up in verse 21:

21 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.
22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

Ok, pay close attention here: Jairus made a statement of faith here, because he had heard of the healings that Jesus did, and he obviously was confident that when Jesus would lay hands on her, she would be healed and she would live. Fine so far. Keep this verse in mind.

24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

Now isn’t that just like the devil? Jairus was already probably getting a little antsy because Jesus had been sidetracked by the woman with the issue of blood. But OK, the woman was now healed, and Jesus was once again on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter. Then came the bad news from home, and doubt and unbelief were there together as a team to kick down his door and get him to speak against his confession of faith, by agreeing that it was too late for God to help, that his daughter was dead. And Jesus couldn’t let him give voice to that doubt and ruin everything.

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

Personally, I’ve had a LOT of times I’ve had to put the unbelievers out, in order for God to heal someone. Faith and doubt cannot exist together, one must go. In most cases, it’s the faith that goes, and the doubt stays. Let me say this, God doesn’t honor doubt. He honors FAITH! If you doubt, you will do without!

41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

Why were the people astonished? Because they weren’t expecting the girl to live again. They knew she was dead, they just didn’t know the power of God! There are times to speak, and make your confession of faith. Then it’s time to shut up and not speak against it. Things don’t always happen instantly with God, though sometimes they do. But if it looks like God isn’t good for His Word, then you have to tell your mind and mouth to shut up, because God is ALWAYS good for what is written in His Word.

You see, many have started out with a good confession, but when things don’t feel or look like what they think it should, or quickly enough, they open their mouth and shoot down their confession of faith. And then, they’re all discouraged when “God didn’t come through”, when all the time it was caused by their own doubt and unbelief. The problem is NEVER on God’s end, it’s ALWAYS on OUR end.

If we learn to discern when to speak, and when to shut up, we will be far ahead. God has given us the most powerful weapons on the face of the earth; our faith, and our words. Remember, God said “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” and He meant exactly that. Our words are OUR choice, and we will live with the results of what we say; good or bad. We can speak God’s Words and bless ourselves and others. But know this; we can point the receiving end of our words the wrong way and hurt ourselves, just as easily as our wrong words hurt others. So learn a lesson from Jesus and Jairus, when to speak, and when NOT to speak. Amen?