Years ago a friend gave me a personal challenge that I have never forgotten. The acronym is TBN, ironic, I know. Speak only if something is:
- True. Am I absolutely certain of the truth of something or is it simply hearsay. I don’t want to be trapped into trying to be the first to know something and getting the word out. Confession, I tend to fall prey to this at times. Don’t speak when 90% assured of truth but 100%.
- Beneficial. How can I make what I am saying redemptive? I shouldn’t just critique without bringing solutions and a means to hope. Is the person I am sharing something with the one who needs to hear it? I shouldn’t be talking to person X about person Y if I have no intent of ever approaching person Y. Even then, the only reason X needs to know is if I am honestly seeking counsel. I have to be super careful here. Most of the time people are seeking sympathy about how someone treated them, not wise counsel as to their response.
- Necessary. Not everything is worth mentioning. What are the ramifications if I don’t say anything?
I am going to focus on this over the next several weeks. In some ways, it might mean that I become much quieter. However, I have found quieter people are usually perceived to be wiser. To be thought of that way would be just fine.