Thursday, July 9, 2015

too much talk

When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 10:19

To say too much about this proverb would be to violate the wisdom it is teaching. Yet its insight is direct. Fine print usually leads to legal problems. So big talkers are probably troublemakers. Long speeches in daily discourse are bound to encapsulate sins and personal agendas. This is the real world and not a Shakespearean drama! It is not good to be talkative.

Those who say much actually have very little good to say. The wisdom of thoughtful speech is the main thrust of the pithy reminder in this verse. There are many times when a short, disciplined sentence will outweigh in wisdom the most dramatic soliloquy. It is distilled to a potent, high-octane simplicity. On the other hand, the motor mouth monologue torpedoes relationship and trust (think slick used-car salesman). The direct, thoughtful statement, even silence, can say so much more. Our culture does see much speech as a potential sales technique. And yet quietness is hard to find. And wise words are all too rare, even in the Church.

Save my mouth from sermonizing when I should instead listen to You! Keep me from bombarding people with agonizing addresses, demoralizing descants, dreadful discourses, and divergent disquisitions. Forgive me when I have harangued a brother or sister heedlessly.

There are times when a lecture is good for necessary instruction. May I hear more of them from wise people that You lead to me, and may I give less of them in my earnest, fast foolishness. I want my speech to be gospel-centered and Christocentric. May my flesh be repelled when my prideful stand-up bits make clever drivel rather than holy wisdom. I want to talk like You do, Lord.

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