When Words are Many
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 33:1-11 | Leviticus 22:17- 23:44 | Mark 9:30-10:12 | Proverbs 10:19
Today’s Scripture Focus: Proverbs 10:19
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise (Proverbs 10:19 NIV).
Our words do get us in a lot of trouble. As the proverb reminds us, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
James says something similar: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
The tongue is very powerful for good or evil. The sins of the tongue—gossip, lying, slander—have great potential to hurt and wound. We do well to choose our words carefully. We show wisdom by being slow to speak and quick to listen.
Too many words may suggest that we are being careless with our words. Careless words sometimes entrap us, sometimes wound others, and sometimes get us in over our heads. Too many words may suggest that we are trying to cover over something. Too many words may also suggest that we are not careful listeners.
It is easy in the social media environment in which we live today, to pass on false, unhelpful or hurtful words. It’s easy to waste our time with “too many words.” Take the time to make sure your “few words” are truthful, helpful words.
Wisdom leads us to be careful listeners and to be careful with our words. Encouraging, well-timed words that build up rather than tear down are powerful—a sign of wisdom and maturity.
Heavenly Father, teach me the value of silence and solitude. Help me to be a good listener. When I speak, let it be with words that build up and encourage, words of wisdom and truth. Amen.