"In the Multitude of Words..."

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19). “The fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart” (Proverbs 18:2).

I have to confess that verses such as these have often come to my mind upon encountering certain kinds of people.

  • The person who has no filters on her speech—who says pretty much whatever pops into her head at the moment, seemingly without a thought to how her words might be understood or what their effect might be.
  • The person whose chatter rambles on and on, wandering from one topic to another with hardly a transition (and hardly a breath), leaving you exhausted from just trying to keep up.
  • The person who asks you a supposedly important question, but then can’t seem to stop talking long enough for you to answer it.

Yes, I know we’re all different, and some people just talk more than others. I’m not suggesting that talking a lot is necessarily sinful. But it does increase the risk. And whether we say a lot or a little, God warns us to be careful about our speech. Our words can do great damage when they are uttered in haste, anger, or carelessness. Thoughtless, unbridled speech is not cute or funny. It is foolish and dangerous.

“There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking” (Proverbs 29:20, NLT). “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).