Say It or Not? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Tell It All

Saying Too Much?

Maybe you do this too.

You write something to share with others. Maybe for an email or Facebook post or your blog.

But then something nags at you. You wonder if you’re saying too much.  Or too little. You question yourself.

  • Is this too personal to post?
  • Not personal enough?
  • Does is sound like I’m bragging?
  • Is my message too harsh?
  • Too long?
  • Too trite?
  • Too boring?

It’s often hard to put into words exactly what we’re thinking. And not everything we think needs to be said out loud.

So how are we to decide what to share with others and what to keep to ourselves?

3 Questions to Ask Before You Share

Here are three questions we can ask ourselves to decide how much to share.

1. WILL IT HELP SOMEONE ELSE?

If your experience or information would help another person learn something, be comforted, avoid a mistake, grow closer to God, or just be pleasantly entertained for a few minutes, share it.

2. WILL IT HELP YOU TO SHARE IT?

Sometimes you need to confess or testify or say something personal for your own healing. If telling others will mend your soul (and won’t hurt others in the process), let it out.

3. WILL IT HONOR GOD?

Pray about your motives. And if you’re unsure how your words will come across, ask a trusted friend to read it first. Make it your goal to bring grace and reflect God’s goodness through your words.

Benefits of Sharing

Sharing our words with others can bring unexpected blessings.

When we give away our words, we can . . .

  • Deepen relationships
  • Invite conversations
  • Clarify thoughts
  • Validate feelings
  • Witness to God’s faithfulness
  • Promote community
  • Strengthen love
  • Extend grace
  • Promp action

As Andrew Le Peau says in Write Better,

“Set your sights higher than finding your voice. Set them on making the world a better, truer, more beautiful place.

If we have something of value, we should be willing to share it.”

We never have to share all our thoughts with the world. That’s not helpful to others or to ourselves. But let’s do share something.

Share your something in words when you can. Brightening your corner of the world lightens it up for all of us.


Do you often second-guess what you write? How do you determine when to hit “send”? Please share your words in the comments.

Updated from the archives

18 thoughts on “Say It or Not? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Tell It All

  1. bill (cycleguy)

    Very good points Lisa. If we put these into practice in all our correspondence, media or otherwise, it would make a big difference in how we say what we say. I’m really glad I am not on social media because I know I would have trouble keeping my pen shut. I have to be careful with blogging and that is enough! 🙂

  2. blankBarbara Harper

    Yes! I second guess myself all the time. These are good tips. If I can, I try to let things I’ve written sit for a while until I feel more sure about it one way or the other. And sometimes when I am most stirred up and feel “I have to post this right now!!!”–that’s usually when I need to wait for a clearer, unheated perspective.

  3. blankMarielle

    I saw your link on The Hearth and Soul Link-Up. Such great advice! As a writer and blogger, this is a question I ask myself often. I love your tips. I also usually specifically consider how it will affect my family. Thank you for sharing these applicable, helpful ideas!

  4. blankTheresa Boedeker

    Great questions to ask, Lisa. We want our words to do good for others. I know another thing I think about is if someone else is in the story and what my words will reveal about them. With our words we really do heal ourselves and others and connect and show love and so many positives.

  5. blankTrudy

    Thank you for these wise tips, Lisa. I have sometimes written something to post only to delete it as I realize God meant it more for my good and to process my feelings, not to share. I love Andrew’s quote about setting our sights “on making the world a better, truer, more beautiful place.” 🙂 Love and blessings to you!

  6. blankBev @ Walking Well With God

    Lisa,
    I often ponder quite awhile before I push “Publish.” These are three great questions to ask. I liked the point that it’s not just about finding our voice, but it’s putting something out there that will be encouraging or edifying to someone else. Most of all I ask if my post is bringing glory to God. Thanks for making me think!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  7. blankYvonne Chase

    Within the past year, I began sharing more personal posts about my life and my experiences. Prior to that, I shared insight based on other people’s lives. That seemed imbalanced to me. I began to share more personal posts to let the reader know I am just like her; figuring it out day by day.

    In my last post, I shared something deeply personal. As a result of sharing, so many people are aware of something they were not aware of. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about what I shared. I also learned that one person was dealing with the same thing and figuring her way out of it. The response was overwhelming. I share to help…both the reader and myself and to invite conversation while giving the reader something to think about that he/she may have never thought about.

  8. blankDonna

    Lisa this is an outstanding post. You gave good, solid suggestions that can be used whether emailing or writing a post! I found this most helpful as I do second guess myself often. Turns out sometimes it’s for good reason! Mostly I wonder if what I have to say will help anyone. I’m learning to trust God more and myself less. I plan to print out this post to keep on my desk for guidance as I write. Thank you!!

  9. blankLois Flowers

    These are great questions, Lisa. It helps me to have a husband who serves as my first reader. He knows what I want my writing to be like (edifying, encouraging, biblically based, etc.) and points out when it veers from that for one reason or another. I think some people probably second-guess themselves more than they need to, but it is always good to let writing rest a bit before hitting POST! Gives the Holy Spirit a chance to work, and things sometimes feel different the next day too. Hugs, friend.

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