Yanking A Dog’s Ears

microphoneI have very strong opinions. Luckily, most of the time, I’ve learned to keep them to myself—for which the world is eternally grateful. Over the years, I’ve discovered that my beautiful pearls of wisdom aren’t always appreciated. In fact, my bits of advice can sometimes be seen as downright annoying. It took a while for me to realize that I didn’t always have to speak my mind. At first, it was VERY difficult not to share my thoughts. I was certain that the WHOLE PLANET would benefit from my golden words of wisdom. Fortunately for the sanity of my family and friends, I’ve discovered that I’m not always the wisest person in the room. And most of the time, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut unless I’m directly asked for advice.

megaphoneOver the years, there have been times when I’ve said something and immediately wished that I hadn’t. The most dramatic lesson I learned occurred when I was in college. I was spending a vacation with one of my friends. On the third day of my stay, my friend had an argument with her husband. I was in the room with them, and they were very open about what they were discussing. As the argument continued, I quickly formed an opinion. I felt that my friend’s husband was completely right. And I thought my friend was TOTALLY wrong. I knew exactly what to say to change her mind. I was sure that my opinion was necessary! I was positive that my input was VITAL.

three-monkeysAs the argument continued, I opened my mouth to contribute, but before the words left my tongue. I heard the Lord speak. His voice wasn’t audible, but it was powerful. It was as if a message was dropped into my brain. The Lord simply said, “Excuse yourself and leave the room.”

 I’m not always the brightest bulb in the box, but I know enough not to ignore a direct heavenly order. I meekly excused myself, went to the guest room, and shut the door. I curled up in the rocking chair by the bed and reached for my Bible. I didn’t have a good grip, and the Bible slipped and fell open on my lap. When I looked down, I saw Proverbs 21:23, “Keep your mouth closed and you’ll stay out of trouble.”

I had to laugh! Rolling my eyes at the ceiling, I asked, “God are you talking to me?”

angry-dog-2I closed the Bible again and opened it at random. The first verse I saw was Proverbs 26:17, “Yanking a dog’s ears is no more foolish than interfering in an argument that isn’t any of your business.

Leaning back in the rocking chair, I closed my Bible and chuckled. I stayed in the guest room until my friend called me for lunch. By that time, her marital spat was over and things were back to normal. I’ve often wondered just what would’ve happened if I’d opened my big mouth and interfered. It’s quite possible that I would have lost a friend.

I learned a big lesson that day, and it’s one that I think about whenever I’m tempted to give an unsolicited opinion. Before I open my mouth, I ask myself if I’m about to yank a dog’s ears. Through experience, I’ve discovered that it’s great to have opinions, but most of the time, it’s even better not to voice them.


tin-can-phoneThe man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.” Proverbs 17:27-28



8 thoughts on “Yanking A Dog’s Ears

  1. Funny. I am the same way. I always offered advice and opinions and comments, figuring I knew just what was needed to fix any issue. This in spite of all evidence to the contrary! In my case God chose to humble me through circumstances to teach me that not only is my opinion not necessary to keep the world running, it is very often a faulty one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Anita, you just made me smile. I’m sorry that we’ve both been in the same sinking boat. 🙂 There have been lots of times when I was sure that if everyone would just “do it my way,” everything would be fine. It was hard for me to learn that sometimes my opinion just wasn’t necessary. 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting. 🙂 You’ve made me feel understood. 🙂 I hope you have a terrific day! 🙂 ❤


  2. Only those of us who have been plagued by the same over-inflated opinion of the worth of our words can truly appreciate this. But I must say you’re a much quicker study than I’ve been. I remember the moment the Lord spoke to me, plain as could be…cause I don’t often hear if He doesn’t…”if it’s in your mind it doesn’t have to come out your mouth.” I was dumb-founded, but convicted.

    And like you, I’ve come to realize the wisdom of zipping the lips! The Book of James is a must read for all of us who suffer with an award-winning, athletic tongue. May God have mercy on the likes of thee and me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear DiAne, I LOVE the book of James! I think it’s one of my favorite books of the whole Bible. Every time I read it, I see something new. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your heart and making me smile. You’re terrific! 🙂


  3. Coleen

    OUCH! GOD always has a way of getting our attention doesn’t HE? This sure spoke to me. Thanks Danele for listening to HIM and sharing. I needed this today.
    Merry CHRISTmas my friend and blessings for a wonderful New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Coleen, I’m so glad that this article spoke to you! Thanks for letting me know. ❤ I want to wish you a Merry Christmas too! Thanks for taking the time to be an encouraging voice in my life. May this next year be the best yet! And may God richly bless you in so many ways! 🙂


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