SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.” — Proverbs 10:19
Tempered talk is a sign of wise conversation. When our words are many, we run the risk of soliciting sin. Increased words increase the probability of improper speech. For example, respectful conversation does not repeat the same words and phrases in a short time. This impatient cadence of frustrates
Perhaps a look of misunderstanding requires questions for clarification or definitions for comprehension. Proud conversationalists can highjack a listener’s understanding with a horde of words without meaning. If your goal is to communicate, take the time to listen to the needs of your audience. People who feel cared for and understood have a keener sense of hearing and understanding.
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.(Proverbs 17:28). Wise people weigh their words before they speak. They allow their minds to catch up with their hearts. Furthermore, in the face of wrong behavior, emotions sometimes need to be expressed if you feel mistreated or misinformed, let the other person know. Concealed anger leads to living a lie (see Proverbs 10:18), but tempered talk is truthful and to the point.
Reserve your words out of respect for the person. If you do all the taking, you are the center of attention. We are being condescending when the people we are conserving with don’t feel important enough to speak up. So honor others by speaking less and listening more intently to learn how you can love them. Wisdom can be found in the words of each person you meet. Therefore, intentionally talk less and be wise.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow become angry(James 1:19).
To Ponder: Whom do I need to listen to more? When am I usually tempted to talk too much?