My love of words goes way back to when I was a child. I’ve always been a fast talker which was only propelled further by my love of reading. I enjoy words so I use them quite often. On average, they say that women speak about 20,000 words per day.(Language Log) I think it’s safe to say that I surpass that estimate by about 1,000 words.
It’s even been a long running joke in my family (natural born and married into) that noone can understand me when I talk because I say things so quickly that it’s like I have a Speedy Gonzales complex. I don’t even realize I’m doing it. It’s got to be a skill (or burden?) that I was born with because once I start it’s really hard to stop. I’ve had to do a lot of listening to make up for the years of incessant talking.
This morning in prayer God was showing me why I do this. I tend to talk so much because of an underlying fear of not being heard. So I talk and talk in an effort to convince myself that because I said alot I got my point across. That the more I fit into the conversation, the more you really get “me.” I’m afraid of being misunderstood.
But the Bible says in Proverbs 17:28 that “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
It’s funny how we think that more words proves knowledge when, in reality, fewer words showcases wisdom. The amount of my words is not what grabs a person’s attention. It’s the weightiness of my words that causes someone to tune in. Basically, the gift of gab is not actually a gift.
I don’t want to just be knowledgeable. I want to be wise.
Armed with my new biblical insight on words, I have decided to challenge myself to only speak if I really do have something to add to the conversation. If I’m chattering non-stop then I’ve fallen prey to the lie that I have to talk to be heard. And I don’t.
My words are always important because God says they are. But in order for others to hear the depth of my heart in the words that I speak, I need to focus on what the Holy Spirit wants me to say. If He wants my point made clear, then He’ll provide the exact amount of words for me to use to get it across.
If He doesn’t provide the words, then they just don’t need to be said. Whew! Ya’ll pray for me! 🙂