My mouth gets me into trouble. Guys, can you relate? I have a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time, especially when talking to my wife. The saying rings all too true for me: “It is better to close your mouth and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Many times I find myself thinking What I should have said was…nothing.

Have you ever noticed that a lot of people are uncomfortable with silence? There always has to be music going or television playing. They fill every sound gap with more and more words until it just sounds like static. Some people just don’t like silence so they prevent it at all costs.

Other people talk a lot when they know they’ve done something wrong. They get caught up in a lie so they add more and more details to the story to make it sound believable. But they end up over-describing to the point that the story sounds obviously contrived.

Some people are nervous talkers. Whenever they’re anxious about something, their mouth takes the reins and churns into a full gallop.

Then their are those oddballs who are content not to say anything. They just sit back and let everyone else do the talking. They rarely add to the noise, and when they do speak up people listen. They’re not really oddballs – the rest of us are.


Many of us think that they only way we can get people to listen to us is by making noise. The loudest voice is answered. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. And we use this same approach with God far too often. We’re like the prophets of Ba’al. They were getting to response from Ba’al on top of Mount Carmel so Elijah suggested they yell louder, make more noise, act more ridiculous.

They still got no answer. Elijah, on the other hand, simply knelt and prayed. No shouting, no dancing, not theatrics. Just a simple prayer.

How do you approach God? Do you come to God with singing, dancing, loud music, shouts, theatrics, and lengthy prayers? Do you try your best to get God’s attention so that he’ll listen to you?

Maybe if we stripped away all the noise then God would be able to get our attention so that we’ll listen to Him.

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth,    do not be hasty in your heart    to utter anything before God. God is in heaven    and you are on earth,    so let your words be few.  {Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

Is listening considered an act of worship? I think it should be. It’s definitely a sign of respect.

If you were to have lunch with the President, you would probably be interested in what he had to say. You would be more focused on listening than on talking. You wouldn’t engage him in conversation like you do your buddy or your spouse. He talks, you listen.

How much more so should we be quick to listen to God? Yes, God wants you to communicate with Him, and even commands us to do so. But He also commands us to listen to Him. It’s like the old adage: You have two ears and one mouth, so do twice as much listening as talking.

This week in worship, as you approach the house of God, draw near to listen. Hear what God has to say to you. Don’t just let your mouth run wild. Listen first, then offer the sacrifice of praise.