When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. ~~ Proverbs 10:19 ESV
The other night at dinner, my husband poured too much sauce on his plate for his meat. “Oh, that’s too much!”
But what do you do when you pour too much on your plate? Pouring it back in the bottle is not a good solution as there is already other food on the plate. Besides, the openings to most sauce bottles are too small to funnel back the original contents.
We looked at each other and we both had the same thought. Pouring too much sauce on the plate is like saying too many words. You can’t put it back.
Sometimes we may say things without thinking. Those words may cause hurt, discouragement or anger. There have been times I tried to comfort a friend in need. When I kept talking I eventually said something that wounded the soul instead of bringing encouragement.
Jesus made it very clear what will happen with our words in Matthew 12:36-37, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (ESV).
Every word – we will be held accountable for every word that comes out of our mouths. Like the sauce, we can not pour those words back into our mouths and minds.
We must practice restraint. When pouring ketchup on the plate, we taught our children to use just a little bit. They can get more if needed, but too much will go to waste. To emphasize our point, we told them we would not buy any more until the next scheduled grocery shopping trip. They had to learn to manage what was in the bottle.
We too must learn to manage the words that come out of our mouths. Start with just a little and add more as led by the Holy Spirit.
If we speak too much, then it will surely lead to transgressions. We’ll be prudent not to say too much.
Recently a particular situation has bothered me. I wanted to talk about it over and over with my husband. When I became more frustrated that he didn’t want to have this conversation, he finally told me that talking about it too much could lead to gossip. He’s right.
Therefore, this week I’m going to work on saying less and praying more. What suggestions do you have about not saying too much?