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by Jamie Shell

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My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19)

    A young computer salesman named Kurt was delighted when one of his clients expressed interest in buying a used computer system — one that Kurt had installed two years before, but had recently been replaced by an upgrade.

    After careful calculation and consultation with his home office, he fixed a price of $800,000 for the used system and documented all the reasons for requesting that amount. As he sat down to negotiate, he heard an inner voice say: “Wait. Let them do the initial talking.”

    The buyers quickly filled the silence with a long rundown of their own research about this particular computer system’s strengths and weaknesses, the age of the equipment, and the need for new software.

    “Can you throw upgrade software into the deal?”, one of the buyers asked.

    “Sure,” Kurt offered.

    The buyers then said, “We’ll give you $950,000 for the system, but not a penny more.” Less than an hour later, the paperwork was signed and Kurt walked away with a better deal than he had imagined, having said little more than, “Thank you.” So often in life we feel that our words determine our worth to others.

    One of the greatest sayings I’ve ever heard was “Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.”

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.”
    We’re guilty many times of speaking before thinking, and in the process can lose more precious possessions than money.

    Our words can cost us friendships, relationships with loved ones, and can even harm our Christian witness.

    In Ecclesiastes 5, we read some good advice from Solomon, derived from his own life experience, when he writes, “Think before you speak, and be careful what you say to God. God is in heaven, and you are on the earth, so say only a few words to God. The saying is true: Bad dreams come from too much worrying, and too many words come from foolish people.”

    We aren’t loved because we say many words. We are loved by God and others because of who we are and what we stand for.

    Make it a priority to consider what you say to others, being willing to keep the mouth closed and the ears open a little more frequently.

    You will be glad you did.

 
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      © 2002, Jamie Shell. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Jamie Shell
      Publication Date: July 13, 2002


 

 
 
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