Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Talking Less, Saying More

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

A recent trend in medicine suggests that a key factor in increasing human lifespan is calorie reduction—simply eating less food. This goes beyond the obvious application for reducing the growing obesity epidemic. Instead, researchers have found that the less processing of food the body is asked to do, the fewer negative side effects that lead to aging, or premature death. It's sort of like your car--the fewer hours the engine runs, the longer it will last.

The same principle applies to speech: the fewer words we speak, the less chance we have of saying something hurtful that we will regret. The Book of Proverbs establishes this principle by warning against a "multitude of words," and the apostle James says the same thing in a different way by exhorting us to be "slow to speak." We live in a world where the air is filled with words—radio, television, the Internet. Finding a person who is "slow to speak" is rare. But we should be that kind of person—one who has learned to "restrain his lips."

The next time you have the opportunity to speak, measure your words. Be continually in a prayerful place: "Lord, help me to say what You would say in this moment."

A sanctified heart is better than a silver tongue.
Thomas Brooks

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