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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Let Your Words Be Few

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
Ecclesiates 5:2

Once my daughter and a friend of hers got into a little disagreement. As I asked the girls what the problem was, each girl began telling her side of the story . . . simultaneously. When they realized that neither was backing down, each girl spoke louder and louder. My son was standing right beside me, and his observation was, "That's too many words!" I laughed and had to agree.

I started thinking about my words. How often would my words be considered "few?" I have to admit that I enjoy talking. My dad can talk to a brick wall, so I guess I come by it naturally. But the more we talk, the more we have a chance to return to the ways of the flesh. It is easy to get wrapped up in gossip or go along with others as they speak poorly about another. When we let our mouths go without thinking we can hurt others, especially if emotions are involved.

We have all been in a disagreement in which one or the other just could not shut up. Each person wants to have the last word. I know there have been times when the Holy Spirit has pleaded with me to close my mouth to avoid hurting someone, but at times I have blasted right through anyway. These are the times we must stop and listen. James reminds us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

Our words can tear down and divide, but our words can also encourage and heal. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24). We all know an encourager, someone whose words warm your heart and build you up.

How will you choose your words?

Lord, help me to choose to listen and learn. Help me to choose words that encourage and heal. 


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