“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”
Proverbs 10:19 (NLT)
I just wanted to go home. It had been a long week directing and helping 3,000 meeting planners and audio/visual specialists at their annual meeting spread across three hotels and a convention center in downtown Atlanta. I was tired. And so was everyone else on our small association staff. Even though each member of our staff had his or her own hotel room, we still had plenty of togetherness as we worked 15-hour, and in some cases 19-hour, days side by side.
That’s a lot of time to talk to each other. And I found that as the week went on, we began sharing more and more personal information about ourselves during our break times and early morning staff meetings … to the point of awkwardness in the case of one person who announced that she and her husband had slept together before they were married. She immediately followed that with, “I can’t believe I just said that!” Oops.
This occurred some 25 years ago, and I still remember this woman sharing such personal details of her life with a room full of co-workers and then regretting what she said. At some point in time, all us have been there – we’ve said too much and then wished we could take it back. Proverbs 10:19 offers us a good reminder to be sensible in our speech.
Have you ever begun to say something and heard that still small whisper in your conscience telling you not to say it? Did you follow that advice? I’ve heeded it at times, but I’ve also shoved that voice aside and said what I wanted to anyway. And then I regretted saying IT.
Our words are powerful – they can bring great joy or deep hurt to those around us. In Proverbs 18:21 words are symbolized as holding the power of life or death. James 3:5-6 likens our words to flames that can set a whole forest ablaze. Gossip works that way. Angry words work that way. Words convey feelings, and those feelings are contagious. Let’s commit our hearts to following Proverbs 10:19.
Begin considering your words before you speak. Use your words wisely and bring refreshment and healing to others (Proverbs 10:21). Speak without regret!