Monday, November 15, 2010

Foolish Chatter

Last week, my son and I visited a Bible college that my son is interested in attending after high school. While there, we sat in on a Freshman Spanish class. The professor explained how, in America, we talk casually and don’t really think a whole lot about what we say or how we say it. However, in the Hispanic culture, according to the professor, speaking is much more formal and not nearly as cavalier. In short, they just don’t whip out responses. They think before they speak, and they speak much more succinctly.
In the days since our visit, I’ve been thinking about what the professor said. His illustration has motivated me to curb my own talkiness, for lack of a better term. For instance, I’d like to stop speaking off-the-cuff and thinking out loud. I’d like to consider first and verbalize last, if at all. And it's not so much about putting my foot in my mouth, although that does occur with regular frequency. It’s that I often make mindless comments or contribute my two cents worth where it isn’t needed, which aggravates situations, clutters conversations or results in gossip.
The Bible makes it clear that we will be held accountable for every word we say—every single word (Matthew 12:36-37). So doesn’t it make sense to hold our tongue more? It surely pleases God and I’m sure will please others when we talk less, observe more and realize that not everything requires our instant perceptions and running commentary. And then when we do finally speak, perhaps we’ll actually have something to say.

copyright Barb Harwood

“He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Proverbs 10:10
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
“Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.” 2 Timothy 2:16

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