I have a very hard time holding my tongue. By nature, I wear my heart on my sleeve. Because of this, I have been easily used by some people. For a long time, I closed up the walls of my heart completely. When I was about twenty years old, I realized this flaw in myself. It took me many years and much prayer to learn how open up at all. And, when I do, I am not always wise about who I open up to. Staying open is often a struggle.

Because of this, if I have opened myself to someone, I am extremely sensitive to rejection or to being overly enthusiastic and becoming a burden on those around me.

This is just as true with sharing the gospel as it is with sharing any of my other thoughts or feelings, which is perhaps why I enjoy written fora online. Online, I can usually speak without forcing myself on anyone.

And while we have been commanded to speak, I don't think that opening our mouths is always the best option. Even Jesus knew when not to speak. And, of course, there are always the charming discourses by Paul about a woman's need to be silent.

I have noticed over the past few years that the Lord seems to be trying to teach me discernment in knowing when to speak and when to be silent. At work, I have created trouble by my overeagerness to help. In personal relationships, I either speak too much or not enough and perpetually embarrass myself. At church, my tendency to speak too much leads to distrust. And there is a current theme in my life on all fronts that urges me to be still, to just stop speaking.

I have very dear friends who have been a vital support to me in my life. They are members of my faith, but neither of them are active. And while the general direction from the Lord is to open the mouth and testify, with them I am feeling that I should just continue being their friend, no matter how much I long to open my mouth and testify of His love.

Perhaps, for once, I am able to open my heart and stand as His witness without saying a word.

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