I was asked by Family Christian Bookstores to review Keep it Shut by Karen Ehman. I was somewhat hesitant at first because the title alone left me uncomfortable. LOL! Keep it shut? Me? Is this one of those belated April fools pranks? Those who know me know I sometimes have a “foot in mouth” problem. As much as I was sure I needed this book, I was concerned I would want to throw it across the room. 🙂
So why all the fuss? What is Keep it Shut about?
Karen Ehman explores how to better control your tongue, knowing what to say and how to say it, and realizing when it is best to say nothing at all.
From Bible times to modern times women have struggled with their words. Knowing what to say. Knowing how to say it. Knowing what not to say. When it is best to remain silent. Knowing what to do when you’ve said something you wish you could take back. In this book, a woman whose mouth has landed her into loads of trouble shares the hows (and how-nots) of dealing with the tongue.
Beyond just a “how not to gossip” book, Karen explores what the Bible says about the many ways we are to use our words and when we are to remain silent. Karen covers a variety of topics including how to use our speech to interact with friends, co-workers, family and strangers as well as in private, public, online and in prayer. Even the words we say silently to ourselves are equally important! She will address unsolicited, opinion-slinging, speaking the truth in love, not saying words just to people-please, and dealing with our verbal anger.
Many Christian women struggle with their words. Even though we know that Scripture has much to say about how we are—and are not—to use our words, this is still an immense issue, causing heartache and strain not only in family relationships, but also in friendships, work, and church settings.
What I thought?
The first chapter of this book immediately grabbed my attention. As I do with most books I read, I began taking notes because this book was really speaking to me. Karen is very open with her experiences and life stories. I appreciated her transparency because it helped me as a reader to relate more to her book. I think this book is one of the most eye-opening books I have read and, well, maybe I needed it more than I thought? 🙂 Don’t expect to get through this book without getting your toes stepped on. Seriously! But it is a good thing to have that done every now and then I believe.
On page 15, Karen says that we cannot have both righteous words and evil words coming from our tongues. OUCH!!! It is all in James 3:9-12 though. Still…ouch. I know that opened my eyes—ALOT.
Let’s face it. We all need to learn to communicate with our mouth in a way that edifies Christ. This book is perfect for that. It teaches us “Words to Live by, What to Say, How to Say it, When to say it, and when to say nothing at all.” I don’t think it is possible to read this book and not come away changed. I believe I am going to read it again! I thoroughly enjoyed Karen’s book that much. I would love to do this as a ladies Bible study sometime, too.
I highly recommend this book and give it a 5/5!