“It is a wholesome act of humility to withhold the expression of our opinions, at least until others have spoken, or until we are asked to give our judgment. Often when we have accurate knowledge of a subject which is being discussed, it is a real act of mortification to refrain from speaking; and this constitutes the exercise of humility. One of the most frequent and hurtful occasions of pride is the readiness with which most of us give our opinion, or instruct others, on any subject that might be introduced into a conversation. A wholesome exercise of humility is to yield our opinion without hesitation unless we are sure that in such yielding some fundamental truth will suffer. We are not called upon to correct all the inaccuracies of others.” (Hughson, Shirley Carter. With Christ in God. New York: Holy Cross Press, 1947, p. 196-97.)
My friend, Jan Johnson, suggests that the spiritual discipline of simplicity applies not only to possessions and standard of living issues, but also to how (and how much) we speak. She makes it a spiritual discipline to share her opinion only when actually asked. Whew!
What would it look like to resist the temptation to correct every petty inaccuracy or jump into a conversation with your opinion? What if you sought to ask a question rather than make a declaration? How might expressing fewer opinions give greater weight to the words you did choose to speak?