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How many words do you use in a day? Some estimate women use thousands more per day than men. Some careers may lend themselves to more words: teachers, call center representatives, salespeople… Our personalities certainly play a part, too. The more outgoing and friendly we are, the more words we are likely to use. What do we do with all the words we speak in a day?
This week I’ve been mulling over the idea of the number of words I speak, especially in light of Proverbs 10:19. In a nutshell, that verse says the more we say, the more likely we are to sin. One who bites his tongue is wise.
No, it doesn’t literally say to bite your tongue. But sometimes that might help keep me from saying something I shouldn’t!
The more I say, the more likely I am to say something I shouldn’t.
To share something about another person.
To criticize or complain.
Or to worry or nag.
On the other hand, if I am careful with my words, I’ll be less apt to let them run ahead of me and into trouble. Like a toddler who breaks free from a parent’s grip and races full-speed ahead into a world of dangers yet unseen to the child, so too our words can race ahead into disaster.
I have a sweet friend who is an excellent listener. Not only is she quiet to listen, but she also pauses to think and consider her response before she says it. That doesn’t come easily for me. I tend to jump right in. But I suspect that she has fewer instances of saying things she shouldn’t!
We need words to communicate, whether they are spoken, written, or even signed. Solomon wasn’t telling us we should be silent, never saying anything. Instead, he cautions us to use our words wisely and carefully.
Slow down and consider.
Ephesians 4:29 also encourages us to use caution with our words. What we say ought to build others up and give grace. The more words we speak, the more we risk using some that get us into trouble!
Can you relate? Is there anything that helps you to be mindful of your words throughout the day?