“Excessive speech is not appropriate on a fool’s lips;
how much worse are lies for a ruler?”
– Proverbs 17:7

It seemed innocent enough. Two friends, who happened to be coaching opposing baseball teams, just talking on a beautiful afternoon. As we stood on the infield grass, we caught up on one another’s lives. We talked about old times, family and other topics. After a few minutes, the subject turned to the upcoming spring football schedule for our high schools. Unknown to me, my school’s head football coach, was listening in. After wishing my friend good luck in the day’s game, I headed toward the visitor’s dugout. As my thoughts shifted to the pre-game routine, up walked my head coach. He let me know very quickly and emphatically that what we did at our high school was no one else’s business. It seemed silly at the time, and I even got a little angry. However, as I matured and took on the role of head coach myself, I saw the wisdom in his words. What seems like innocent talk can easily turn into way too much information.

In today’s world, it’s even harder. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and countless other forms of social media make our every move public knowledge. What seems like innocent chatter can quickly turn against us. Looking back on my days as a classroom teacher, the worst place for idle talk was in the teacher’s lounge. How easy it is for small talk to sway our opinions regarding others. King Solomon warns us about excessive speech and the troubles it can lead to. It’s a wise person who knows when to “zip the lips.”

Heavenly Father, thank You for the ability to verbally communicate with others. Give me wisdom and discernment to recognize the difference between helpful and foolish talk. Amen.