When Words Are Many

"When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent." --Proverbs 10:19 (ESV)
According to my mother, I came out of the womb with my mouth open and screaming. And if you were to ask her, she'd probably say that there isn't much that has changed except that I now use words instead of grunts and cries. So, I think it is safe for me to say that words are very important. It is difficult for me to imagine life without words--whether spoken or written. Words are essential for me as I live as a husband, father, and minister. Yet, words can also place me (and you) on dangerous ground. According to Proverbs 10:19, a particular danger is lurking when "words are many." I imagine that most of us can remember situations where we which that we had kept our mouths closed instead of babbling away: "When words are many, transgression is not lacking." Maybe it was a conversation that turned to gossip or a discussion that involved harsh and unloving words. No matter what the particular circumstances were, I believe that all of us have been guilty of a transgression of speech. In James 3:6 we are reminded that "the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness."
But it doesn't have to be this way. By God's grace we can learn to restrain our lips: "but whoever restrains his lips is prudent."

No comments: