There’s a line from my favorite Lumineers’ song that strikes me every time I hear it:
it’s a long road to wisdom
But it’s a short one
To being ignored
People who talk talk talk talk blah blah talk blah talk talk end up being ignored.
And trust me, I’ve been that person. I’ve been the one simply talking too much.
We may say a few smart things. We may say a few wise things. We may say a few life-giving things. We may speak a little Truth. But because of the sheer volume, at some point, people stop listening. When we talk talk talk we expose to the world that we care more about hearing our own voice rather than listening to someone else’s.
Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. ~King Solomon (Prov 10:19)
This verse and various versions of it tumble around in my brain constantly. In this year of “Less”, I’ve been realizing [yet again] that what I usually regret most at the end of the day is not my actions, but my words. I would never physically harm someone and yet I recognize the great capacity to wound someone with careless or even purposeful words. I’ve realized over the years, that doesn’t mean you never voice an opinion or engage in useful debate or dialogue or jokingly tease others. But it means that you can speak about your own beliefs and opinions without disparaging others. It means you can share laughter and jokes without tearing someone else down.
It means your words bring life to the hearer.
What will you contribute to your world today?
Endless-mindless chatter or pontifications or soliloquies or slams against anything or anyone with whom you don’t agree?
Or life-giving words that build up and challenge and leave the hearer wanting more?
The tongue has the power of life and death… ~King Solomon (Prov 18:21)