Ever have your Bible Study Hijacked by the Overly Verbal?
Not only are there are lots and lots of Bible verses on not talking too much and maintaining control of your tongue, it is also true that pride is the root cause of overly verbose behavior. That’s all fine and well, if the talkers are interested in some self-introspection and growth.
But what about those of us that have to put up with them droning on and on about whatever it is they are currently interested in? What do we do with the prima donnas that get highly offended when interrupted during a long monologue?
There are multiple reasons this is a genuine issue that should always be dealt with as soon as a pattern is noticed. First, it is a self-centered behavior , and often causes others to leave the group once they realize that any time devoted to it will be spent listening to the blustering of an intellectual wannabe. Or someone who just wants to change the topic entirely and set their own agenda.
Second, the overly talkative often neglect their own growth and hinder everyone else’s. It’s not good for anyone. The quiet often want to participate, but are not willing to ‘fight’ for their right to do so.
Lastly, if your group tolerates this kind of ‘take-over’ there is a very good chance you will lose your youth’s hearts. Young folks have very low tolerance for chest-pounding and yammering.
Confront and Rebuke? Turn the other cheek and endure? What to do?
While it is an extremely rare phenomena to see a group of believers willing to confront sins, it is even rarer to see what most would label a mild sin like selfishness confronted biblically.
To keep this kind of problem in check and not allow it to get to a point where we are losing participants over it or becoming lethargic in our growth we need real, authentic leadership.
A gentle, yet empowered leader can set the tone and acceptance level in regards to what will be tolerated. As a result, this hijacking behavior and other issues can be dealt with pleasantly. A leader who can keep a group moving forward, creates an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable sharing. What is a blessing.
Leaderless? What to do with the Overly Talkative?
Many groups choose not to have official leadership and in the majority of cases this will end up causing their demise. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, leadership is Biblical and clearly given to us for our good – anytime we think we are smarter than God, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Secondly, pride is ubiquitous. If you don’t have servant leaders, pride will take over eventually. And once pride is in charge, heads roll and hearts break.
Get rid of Haughtiness and Let The Ruach ha Kodech (Holy Spirit) Lead
Anytime we want the Holy Spirit’s leading, we must recognize we are asking for The Word of God to be in charge. Nothing is truly spirit led if it does not line up with The Word. Don’t ever trust yourself (or others) to recognize The Spirit’s leading on your own – if the leading does not align with the Written Word of God – my friend, you are traveling a wide and well traveled path.
Calling something Spirit or God-inspired does not make it Spirit or God inspired. We have been given many checks and balance and warnings to heed those checks and balances.
However, we digress, is there a simple solution to our problem? Something that is Biblical and men can agree on? Only if the men involved are God-fearing, Bible believing followers. Not followers of their own ideas, not chasers of every new thought, conspiracy or charismatic personality that comes along. Followers of the Written word, allowing the Ruach to lead them in Spirit and Truth.
Sometimes it may be necessary to interrupt a rambling monolog. “Hold it right here, Pete. You’re tossing out a number of worthwhile ideas. I’m not sure we can handle all of them at once. Take your first point, boil it down to one simple declarative sentence and we’ll see what the others think about it.”HOW TO SHUT UP THE ONE WHO TALKS TOO MUCH, www.joshhunt.com
Spirit and Truth – you’ve got to have Both.
Leadership, structure and accountability do not squash the Holy Spirit. Pride, haughtiness, self-centeredness and selfishness do. If you combine those two you’re in quite a mess!
Be careful with whom you choose to yoke yourself together with for fellowship. In the Messianic world, we are sometimes desperate for fellowship due to our being such a small minority. We can end up compromising in areas we should not. We can lose our children’s hearts, we can lose our joy. The overly talkative are just one of many issues home fellowships need servant leaders to deal with Biblically.
Be willing to be strong and brave and courageous. If the folks you are with don’t want Truth, don’t force it on them. Be willing to walk away in shalom and wait upon Him who loves you and created you to show you where He wants you and when.