The Advantage of “Few Words”
Let’s read Proverbs 10:18-21
Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. 19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little. 21 The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.
I don’t know who originally said this but the following phrase might have come out of verse 19 above: “Better to keep silent and let one think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” I think that this is another way, perhaps a little more clever way, to say what verse 19 says. We are a generation that likes to hear ourselves talk. We like to say things and we like to be heard. But is that wise?
Sometimes it is better to just be quiet. If we are a person of few words, it is more likely that those words will mean more. In verse 19 we are told that sin is not lacking in a multitude of words. The more we talk…and talk…and talk…and talk…the more opportunity we give Satan to use our words to hurt someone, to cause a misunderstanding or any other of a thousand ways that our words can bring someone pain. Often it’s not that we mean to harm someone. Rather, we simply talk too much and yet often have very little to say. Whether at school, work or play, there is a benefit to being someone of few words…at least I think that’s what God is trying to teach us here in Proverbs 10.