Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let Your Words be Few

Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
2 Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.

"God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." It is an admonishment I need, and not just when coming before God.

Oh, to master the art of Few Words. Why is it that just when I've made a simple point and all is going well, I invariably go further, say more; and dig myself a hole I would like to vanish into? You would think that I would learn. Apparently not.

I already had this theme stirring in my heart when I opened up my little green note book and read something that my friend Frances said last year, when her husband Brian shocked--I mean surprised, her by bringing home the dog now known as Muttworthy.

Brian said, "Well, you were hinting that you wanted one."

And Frances said, "You mean if only I'd kept my mouth shut, I wouldn't be picking up poo right now?"

As I recall, during that particular phone conversation, Frances broke away to yell to her daughter, "Summer...Summer! I can smell poo; check the crate!"

That little story seems to fit this topic exquisitely.

Last night at cell group, someone mentioned the nuclear bomb and the devastation wrought as a result of that invention. Another person reminded us of nuclear medicine and energy. The way it is used is the issue. It made me think of the gift of words and how we take for granted the ability to communicate with them; such a complex ability and with power akin to the nuclear bomb. It stands to reason that the more powerful the tool, the greater the care it should be handled with. Yet I can bandy words carelessly.

I like the word "circumspect," and all of the synonyms for that word, including, "careful and sensible; marked by sound judgment; discreet." The opposite of circumspect? Rash!

Rash is not good where words are concerned. I long to be circumspect.

Dear Lord, please teach me to measure my words carefully and to take into my heart all of the teaching in your WORD about words. You went to such lengths to give us the guidelines. Help me to absorb them and make them mine.

Proverbs 25:11 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson 11-12 The right word at the right time
is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend's timely reprimand
is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
Proverbs 12:18 (The Message)
8 Rash language cuts and maims,
but there is healing in the words of the wise.

1 comment:

Joyful Fox said...


Rash, like the thrusts of a sword - I know all about those kind of words and that kind of speaking.

Learning to be circumspect, discerning, prudent....a slow process to be sure.

Thanks for the reminders and the verses.

We'll pray for grace, mercy, strength, and patience as He does the work in us and we yield self to Him.