When you talk, don't say any bad things. But say things that people need — things that will help other people become stronger. Then the things you say will help the people who listen to you. (Ephesians 4:29 ERV)

When I finished it, I knew I needed to wait to print it. It was too fresh. People were too close and might be hurt if I ran it so soon after it happened. While every word of it was true, it needed to be delayed.

What is the "it" I'm talking about? "It" is the article I finished the other night at 1:30 in the morning after two hours of work. While the article contained a message that needs to be heard and what is said is 100% truthful, this truth needed to be delayed.

God's children need to learn there is a time to be silent.
Shading the truth or telling only the partial truth is not honesty. Delayed truth is not partial truth. Telling the truth from God's point of view means that truth should be of benefit to the hearer. Christian speech is redemptive. The motivation behind it must be to be encouraging. Our goal in communication should be to bless and build up others based on their needs and not our agenda, chip on the shoulder, sense of urgency, or insensitivity. Sometimes truth needs to be delayed until the time is right, our motivation is pure, and our purpose is redemptive.

So often, many of us prattle on volunteering everything we know and everything we feel. In a world of blogs, conversations, and commentaries, God's children need to learn there is a time to be silent and keep our mouths — and our pens and our keyboards — silent and still. "There is a time to be silent, and a time to speak." (Ecclesiastes 3:7) We've got to learn to "tell the time" in our choice of words. This is not an option for us. Jesus wants us to know that we "will have to explain about every careless thing" we've said to others. (Matthew 12:36) Our words and how we use those words matter to others and to God.

I don't profess to be an expert on being silent — I've gotten myself in more than my share of messes from responding to emails too hastily and without prayerfully considering my response. I've said something "cute" in the banter of conversation that was at the expense of someone else who was hurt or made the butt of the joke. I often have trouble knowing when to quit talking. Hopefully I'm getting better, but I still have a long way to go. However, I do realize that I must improve in this area. I know that my speech, my email, and my writing need to be handled with more sensitivity, care, and timing. It is not God's truth if it is not shared with concern for blessing our hearer by what is said and by when it is said.