“Excessive speech is not appropriate on a fool’s lips…”
– Proverbs 17:7a (Holman Christian Standard)
It seemed innocent enough. Two friends, who happened to be coaching opposing baseball teams on a beautiful April afternoon. As we stood on the infield grass, we caught up on one another’s lives. We talked about old times, family and other such topics. After a few minutes, the subject turned to the upcoming spring football schedule at our high schools. Unknown to me, my school’s head football coach, who also doubled as head baseball 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 warm-up, up walked my head coach. He let me know very quickly and emphatically that what we did at our high school was nobody’s business. It seemed silly at the time and I actually 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 society it’s even harder. Facebook, twitter, texting and 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 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 waiting troubles it can lead to. It is a wise person indeed who knows when to zip up the lips.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the ability to verbally communicate with others. Give me the wisdom and discernment to recognize the difference between helpful and foolish talk. Keep me in Your perfect will. Amen.