Proverbs 10:31-32 (NLT)
31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. 32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

Here in this proverb we find people are either justified or condemned by their words. It is both the proof and the praise of a person�s wisdom and goodness that they speak wisely and well. A good and wise person will be of benefit to others as their wisdom has been rewarded by God. The good person will lift up many, praising them for their accomplishments; giving advice that edifies and is agreeable to the listener. Sin however becomes the ruin of the wicked. Their words are displeasing and they provoke controversy. They speak when they should remain silent and they give advice that is often unheeded.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer gives the following perspective on the Ministry of Listening. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter. [Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), pages 97-8.]

There is an appropriate time to speak and give wisdom and there are times when we should just listen. Proverbs 29:20 tells us �There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.�