Some have pegged me as quiet and even introspective. Maybe I am a little. I can sit in a meeting and listen to discussion, mulling things over before giving my opinion or offering a different idea. Other times I lead the discussion and should probably shut up and stop stifling creativity.
We all could probably stand to say a little less. Because it’s so easy to speak to hundreds of “friends”—and for some, thousands—we tend to share more than we should. Some things we should just not say.
Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
The words of the godly are like sterling silver;
the heart of a fool is worthless.
The words of the godly encourage many,
but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.
— Proverbs 10:19-21 NLT
Where there are many words, indeed, there is opportunity for sin. This includes gossip and slander. Or insensible self promotion, when we demand the spotlight of conversation be centered on us.
Our words need to be calculated. We must give consideration to what we say before it’s spoken and becomes irrevocable. This includes regular conversation and social media interactions. Before you hit SEND—or now with the simple tap of the ENTER key—pause and weigh your words. (Maybe even fix some punctuation or spelling. I’m just sayin’.)
If there’s anything we could never over speak, it would be encouragement. Genuine encouragement. This is something I want to do better at. I tend to give a lot of criticism, even when unsolicited, and not nearly enough encouragement. “Whatever is worthy of praise” (see Philippians 4:8) should not be only thought but actually praised out loud.
Short post today, because when writing about saying less, I should heed my own advice. Today, let’s look for opportunities to encourage, and also give consideration to how our words will be received.