When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
Tempered talk is evidence of wise conversation. It is when our words are many that 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 confined period of time. This impatient cadence frustrates.
Perhaps a look of misunderstanding requires questions for clarification or definition for comprehension. Proud conversationalists can highjack a listener’s understanding with a hoard of words without meaning. If your goal is to communicate, then 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 a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (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 inappropriate behavior, emotions sometimes need to express themselves. Let the other person know if you feel mistreated or misinformed. Concealed anger leads to living a lie (see Proverbs 10:18), but tempered talk is truthful and to the point.
Lastly, you reserve your words out of respect for the other person. If you do all the talking, you are the center of attention. It is condescending conversation when the other individual does not feel important enough to speak up. So honor others by speaking less, listening more intently to 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 to become angry” (James 1:19).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, hold my tongue to speak less and sensitize my ears to listen with understanding, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Application: Whom do I need to listen to more and talk less?
Related Readings: Job 2:3; Amos 5:13; Titus 1:10; James 3:2