A wise old owl sat on an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?

~ Anonymous

I'm definitely a person who likes to talk; I love spoken word poetry as well as teaching. Words shape my existence. However, words have also brought me a lot of trouble. Years ago, if it came to my mind, it was coming out of my mouth, but I learned the hard way that there is a time and place for everything.

I served eight years as a military officer, and one of the most valuable lessons I learned was how to separate my emotions from whatever I was advocating. If my feelings were on my shoulder, that left too much room for me to take questions I was being asked personally. Passionate was good, but emotional was not.

Additionally, as a woman in ministry, I am often called on to teach concepts of the Bible. Great. Wonderful. Nevertheless, I've found lately that there are many who dwell on two extremes of the same spectrum: one extreme that believes what they believe, and there is no talking them out of it, whether their lifestyle is in agreement or not.

The other extreme seeks to make a person like me drunk off their praises, as if I am the one who gave myself these gifts of speech, poetry, writing and teaching. I truly believe this latter spectrum is the most dangerous. It can lead me to adopt pride as my garment instead of humility as my guard. It can cause me to get involved in conversations I have no business in, thus pimping the gift I've been given in order to glorify myself or another person.

To alleviate this issue, I've adopted the token of wisdom given by that wise old bird. Quick to listen and observe; slow to speak. I've got plenty to say, but who am I trying to impress? I'd rather not waste anymore words. No more "hit and miss" for me. I desire my words to hit their intended target and fulfill the purpose they were created for. That cannot happen if they are diluted by a whole bunch of frivolous discussions that are irrelevant to the direction God has me moving in.

What about you? How have you filtered and funneled your words/gifts/destinies to pack the most punch? Tell me about it!