How to talk less

Balanced communities always have the talkers and the listeners. Some talk so much everyone wishes they’d keep quiet for once; others are so intent on listening that not one has yet been able to gain some wisdom and knowledge from them.

This devotional is for the first group. You  talk easily. You naturally see yourself as a talker, perhaps even a teacher. You might be very well versed on a wide array of topics, or you might actually one have one or two pet topics, either way, you love to talk.

We all need the talkers, but if you are the talker, may there be a word of caution for your today

Proverbs 10:19
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

A Christian talker is one who has no doubt many times sensed the truth of the first line of that proverb – sin just pours out so easily. The fish in the fishing story get bigger, the story of your wife ends in gossip, the recounting of your shopping trip includes slander, the average run-of-the-day account swells with self exaltation.

But, whoever restrains his lips is prudent. As always, Proverbs gives the soothing ointment for the soul after the dagger-like thrust into the heart. If you are a talker, please don’t go mute; rather, restrain your lips. Hold back your words from flowing freely, slow down the impulse to say something. To maintain the colour of the proverb, but little restraining springs on your lips so they don’t open so easily, and once open, close again fairly quickly.

Perhaps the greatest practical advise that has been given in this regard is to learn how to end a conversation (can we honestly say monologue is sometimes closer to the truth??). Memorise a small handful of sayings that end conversations well. Some might be as blunt as “Sorry, I’m talking to much again, how are you today?”, others might be as smooth as  winding down your story, and then taking a listening seat in the group, who knows, you might even increase your perception skills with a little silent, listening, observations.

How to talk less
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