Read: Proverbs 10
Key Verses: Proverbs 10:19. “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”
Devotional: Before I make this next statement, let the record show that I was a much younger man. This was prior to me obtaining the vast wealth of maturity that I now possess (wink, wink). Remember when people would unscrew the tops of salt shakers just before someone would attempt to apply just a touch of salt to their meal? What about loosening the cap to the ketchup or mustard? Awesome right? I mean, that’s extremely immature and…I’m sorry it's pretty funny. I can't deny it.
I remember doing these very things as a kid growing up in a house with two older brothers. Mom or dad would grab the salt shaker and we would just wait with bated breath for the inevitable to occur. Or if I was feeling particularly bold I would unscrew a few tops just before leaving a restaurant. Of course the downside being that I never received the satisfaction of seeing a mound of salt dump all over some unsuspecting person’s plate of food. Bummer right?
This particular verse in Proverbs chapter 10 reminds me of this long forgotten rebellious stage of mine. Salt can be a really good thing in the right environment and with the right amount. The same is true of ketchup and mustard. They each have the ability to add a little flavor to a perhaps otherwise bland meal. But too much salt, too much ketchup, too much mustard can ruin even the choicest of meals.
The same can be said of our words. Our words carry a tremendous amount of power and potential. But too many words can quickly lead us down a dark and lonely road. As my now teenage sons were beginning their journey into the world of sports I recall the words that I would say to them as I dropped them off at their first practice or conditioning at the start of each new season. Before they jumped from the car to run in, I would simply say, “Son, less is more.” I had to explain myself the first few times but eventually those words were enough to remind them of this powerful lesson.
“Less is More” can certainly apply to our words in everyday life as well. Too often we are tempted to fill the dead air with something. Too often we desire to be understood before we fully understand. We feel the need to speak when words aren’t really necessary. When we aimlessly fill the air with words we run the risk of inviting sin into our lives. It’s when we speak too much that our words become less guarded. The Psalmist says it like this, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
We should strive for fewer words with greater substance.
Take Action: Take a guess at how many words you speak on an average day. Now look up that stat on the internet and compare yourself with the average. Regardless of whether you are above or below average, how many of your words are necessary? Are you guarded in your words? Make a list of settings where you feel as though you let your guard down when it comes to your words and make that setting a point of prayer. Ask God to give you wisdom and strength to only speak when needed.
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