Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”
The converse to that is found in Proverbs 10:19: “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
Bob Goff in Love Does puts it this way:
I used to think I should talk about everything, but now I know it’s better to keep some things a secret.
Yeah, Bob, where were you when I was younger? I grew up with a terrible disease. It oozed out of my past. It “rained” on my present. It clouded my future.
IT. IS. CALLED. FOOT-IN-MOUTH. DISEASE.
Tragedy is? I am not completely cured. You know those kind of people. Maybe you are one. Speak before you think. It is almost like I needed a mechanism that slapped me upside the head with the words: “Engage brain before mouth.” In an effort to hide much of my insecurity, I joked. Okay, so they weren’t funny to the people I hurt, but I thought they were. I teased…mercilessly at times. I rubbed it in…not too far…just down to the heart. I once had someone describe my condition more accurately than I had ever heard it before: “I assumed a familiarity that was not there.” OUCH! That hurt! But it was true. Assuming a “friendship” that was not there; assuming a “likability factor” that definitely was not there, I blistered people with my off-handed, sometimes off-color risque’ remarks. I am not proud to say those things about myself. I cringe at some of the ways I expressed myself and embarrassed those I love.
I also shared things with people I had no business sharing. That is the gist of Goff’s quote. There are just some things that ought not be told to anyone, especially in public. Some things need to remain private, unless, of course, you are seeking help or being accountable to a trusted friend.
Something else needs to be a secret: when you do something for God, especially when it is for someone else. No need to hang a banner. No need to seek recognition. No need to look for accolades, pats-on-the-back, or even remuneration of some kind. Better to be kept a secret. God knows and He is the only One who really needs to know.
Have you ever struggled with foot-in-mouth disease? Have you conquered it? How? Do you have trouble opening your mouth without an invitation?