Read Proverbs 10
Words are good at exposing what’s going on inside of our hearts. During times of stress or pressure, if our hearts aren’t being guarded and shepherded well, our language can rapidly become negative. In recent weeks, I’ve been noticing that my words and inner dialogue have turned incredibly foul. Once I realized this was happening and how it was affecting others, I have been more intentional in my speech. While I have been nowhere near perfect, I’ve decided to censor myself as much as I can so as not to “pollute the air” as Proverbs says. As you may surmise, this particular chapter is one that I will be meditating on heavily in the coming days and weeks.
The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words.
The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
the blabber of the wicked is worthless.
A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom;
a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.
The speech of a good person clears the air;
the words of the wicked pollute it.
This one is hard for me. When I look at the distinction between speech from a “good” person and speech from a “wicked” person, I don’t like which side of the line I’m falling on.
Do I measure my words?
Is what I say worth waiting for?
When I speak is it of substance?
Is my speech a fountain of wisdom?
Do my words clear the air?
I wonder how our communication and our world would change if we began to measure our speech against this criteria. That way, no matter if we’re frustrated or feeing great, having a light or heavy conversation, encouraging or correcting, we would do it with grace and wisdom. How would relationships improve if our speech changed? How would our performance at work change if we used wise words instead of foolish ones? What if we posted things on social media that were substantial, worth waiting for, well measured, and full of wisdom?
Wise speech is intentional, well-timed, and worth listening to. I want my words to be dripping with wisdom so that those who hear or read what I have to say are edified. I want to bring peace with just my words, not create more strife. If that means I will speak less or have fewer followers and posts on social media, I’m willing to do that. I’m asking the Lord for wisdom and help in the area of communication and am excited to see what he’s going to do!