To Speak or Not to Speak

For the past year I have been reading a great book titled "The Miracle of Dialogue." I have also observed my well-used freedom and/or lack of restraint in sharing my thoughts publically. I have been challenged by Scripture and shared thoughts and quotes from friends to consider my motivation and purposefulness in speaking.

All of these thoughts have brought me to a point of dilemna. There is one train of thought that says "everything you know does not need to be shared. The less words spoken the more powerful affect they have on others." There is another train of thought that says "God has given you the life experiences, the knowledge, and the wisdom that you have in order to be able to share it with others. These gifts are not meant to be kept, but to be shared."

One thought that was shared at a regional ministry meeting keeps bouncing back and forth in my thoughts, "there is their reward." A co-worker in the kingdom shared about how she and her boyfriend will whisper this comment to one another when they hear someone share about something they have done in ministry or service for others. It reminds each of them that when a person receives applause for the works they do on earth, they are receiving their award, but when an act of love and service is done secretively, they will receive their reward in heaven.

I think about this whispered comment and I wonder, "Is there a time and place where our role as minister's of the gospel is to share personal ministry stories to encourage those around us? Are there not times we need to share about our experiences so that we can verbally construct a model for others to follow? and How does the understanding of being accountable for our time and energy and the wise stewardship of other's graciously given resources come into play?" In other words, is part of our call as ministers that of giving up our "reward in heaven" in order to allow others to more fully embrace and grow from our "reward on earth."

I have many questions as I sit between these two choices and wonder where one finds the balance between the two. How does one know when to speak and share so that the body of Christ might be edified and when to remain humbly silent and practice taming the tongue.

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