day 3K156: Speaking First

“Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies.”

Ever been in a meeting (live or virtually) and every time a question is asked there is the one person who jumps in and speaks first? After a while it gets annoying and if we were to watch the room dynamics we would notice that after a period of this the rest of the room just gives up and lets the know-it-all keep going. It happens all the time in meetings and also on a larger scale. There are businesses who as a part of their PR strategy always want to be the first ones to speak out so as to stake their claim, or to gain some ground that they are fearful of losing. Being the first to speak up doesn’t always work. Those who speak first run the risk of getting ahead of themselves and missing other important facts that could be very relevant to the issue. They also run risk of having to retract or correct their first statements. When it comes to speaking out first, the bleeding edge can be a dangerous place to be. It behooves us to take a deep breath and do some listening before we speak up.

Many times the reason that we might speak up first is because we are really trying to speak for ourselves and prove to someone else what we know, how smart we are, or that we have information that others don’t. Speaking up for ourselves, in the big picture, doesn’t do us a lot of good. When others speak up for us, then that can earn us credibility and respect from others, but building ourselves up or speaking out first to prove ourselves to others can hurt more than help. We get a great lesson in this from Jesus who tells us that we shouldn’t speak of our ourselves but instead find ways to honor Him and others. He says that when we do that we are speaking truth and to anyone, anywhere, there are no stronger words than words of truth. That is how one builds credibility and respect of others, not by speaking up first to try and honor one’s own self. Let’s think about it when we get the opportunity to speak up and out today!

Reference: John 7:18 (New Living Translation)