Friday, March 11, 2005

Yesterday, in Proverbs 10, verse 19 jumped out at me.

KJV: In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Do what????

NIV: When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Well, for a chatterbox like me it's hard to hold my tongue. I mean, I love to talk! I see the point of speaking less but how can it be sinful if I watch what I'm saying?

NLT: Don't talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow!

Oh! I I see. I am such a chatterbox and this verse just really convicted that I needed to think about mastering the art of silence. I can see how talking a lot would foster sin. Potential for gossip or just giving too much information about something is great - especially from the chatterbox that I am.

I am reminded of a story my mother told me. I was young, I'm guessing somewhere between 3 and 5. I lost my voice. I was so hoarse. She was mystified as I wasn't running a fever, nor complaining with a sore throat. She took me to Dr. Yates and before he even looked in my throat he knew what the problem was. He said, "Barbara, you're going to have to keep her quiet! She just talks too much." Or something to that effect. Anyway, my mother found the prospect of keeping me quiet akin to herding cats, which is nearly impossible.

Now that I am older I would love to say I have matured and lost the chatterbox routine but I can't. I'm 34 years old and am *still* chattering away. I am rarely at a loss for words but this verse finds me thinking that perhaps I do need to curtail the chatter.

Yes, but how?

Excuse me while I google this, please.

Wow! Maintaining silence is kind of a New Age thing, huh? I'm going to go look for more.

Speaking Less

I pray I be swift to hear; slow to speak, and slow to wrath. (James 1:19)

Lord, make me the wise one who restrains his lips. (Pr. 10:19)

Lord, help me to remember that the perverse tongue will be cut out. (Pr. 10:31)

Lord, make me of a faithful spirit so as to conceal a matter not needing to be said. (Pr. 11:13)

Lord, keep me from being ensnared by the transgression of my lips. (Pr. 12:13)

Lord, teach me when to cover shame prudently. (Pr. 12:16)

Lord, teach me when to conceal knowledge. Keep me from proclaiming foolishness. (Pr. 12:23)

Teach me Lord to guard my mouth and so preserve my life. Keep me from the destruction which comes by opening my lips foolishly. (Pr. 13:3)

Lord, intensify my hatred for lying. (Pr. 13:5)

Lord, I pray that my lips will preserve me. Keep me from proud words. (Pr. 14:3)

Father, keep me from idle chatter and poverty. (Pr. 14:23)

Father, give me the understanding to be slow to wrath, and not impulsive. (Pr. 14:29)

Father, cause wisdom to rest in my heart. Give me understanding. Let me not reveal to men all that is in my heart. (Pr. 14:33)

Lord, I pray that I speak soft answers which turn away wrath, and not harsh words which stir up anger. (Pr. 15:1)

Lord, I pray I that be wise to use knowledge rightly, not to pour forth foolishness. (Pr. 15:2)

Lord, I pray that I study and ponder how to answer. (Pr. 15:28)

Lord, give me knowledge and teach me to spare my words. Give me understanding and a calm spirit. (Pr. 17:25)

I pray Lord that I have the wisdom to hold my peace and shut my lips when it is not wise to speak. (Pr. 17:23)