If you’re an outspoken woman, I can relate. Like a village lawyer, you’re usually the first person to speak up, and people run to you for help when they don’t have the ability (or guts) to speak up for themselves. If this describes you, Proverbs 31:8 should be your life’s motto: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (New Living Translation). – But wait a minute! Not so fast!
In the Kingdom of God, we all play a role. And some of us are especially skilled at speaking up. But just like anything else, our “voices” must be controlled. Proverbs 10:14 teaches, “The wise don’t tell everything they know, but the foolish talk too much and are ruined” (New Century Version). And just in case you casually dismissed that Scripture, God made Solomon add this one: “Those who are careful about what they say protect their lives, but whoever speaks without thinking will be ruined” (Proverbs 13:3, New Century Version).
Here’s a fitting example: A few years ago, a California woman died while competing in a water-drinking contest. After consuming six liters of water in three-hours, Jennifer Strange died from “water intoxication.” Accidentally drinking too much water is rare. It usually occurs under extreme conditions (like during drinking contests and brutal torture). But here’s the point: Similar to drinking water (something that is healthy – when it is appropriately used), we can dangerously overuse our voices. You see, God gave some of us the “gift of communication,” but that gift must be carefully applied. Every annoyance doesn’t need to be addressed, and every wrong-doing doesn’t need to be corrected. Therefore, speak up – but not all the time! Proverbs 14:16 teaches, “The wise are cautious and avoid danger; [but] fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence” (New Living Translation).