I have always been an introvert.
Working in the journalism industry taught me how to ask questions and become a conversationalist, and my current job has helped me to keep up those skills as I work with volunteers and the public. However, I have to force myself to be bubbly and talk. If I chose, I would very rarely actually talk to people unless they are very close to me.
I have pretty much always seen my quietness nature as a bad thing. People laugh at the way that I like to stay home and ask me if I'm mad because I'm quiet.
As I was catching up on my Bible reading this morning, I was working my way through several chapters of Proverbs. I must say that this book about wisdom seems to encourage me to be myself instead of forcing myself to talk.
Over and over in Proverbs, it states that wisdom is not talking and folly is talking. What you say can't be taken back, but what you can't be faulted for what you don't say.
"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble." (Proverbs 21:23)
"The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool bring ruin near." (Proverbs 10:14)
"Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to run." (Proverbs 13:3)
Remember, when your mother told you "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all"? Well, it seems like she was taking that lesson from the book of Proverbs. If you want to be wise, make sure you say only those uplifting, important, thoughtful words. Don't just talk for the sake of talking.
I think my dad is the ultimate master of this. My dad is not a man of many words, but when he has something to say, you had better listen. If he sits down with the intent of speaking, he has something on his mind and it is not just a random thought, it is something he has spent the time pondering and that he believes is worthwhile. That is a model we should all strive after.