“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
What you say often defines who you are. One of the ways people judge who you are is by what you say. It is not what you say when everything is going your way, but it is what you say when everything seems to be against you that defines who you are to others.
The verse above says, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin…” In other words, the more you talk, the more you get yourself into trouble. Silence is often the wisest word spoken. One thing that a police officer knows about interrogating a person is that the more they speak, the greater the potential they have in saying something that will cause them to be indicted.
The verse above continues to says, “…but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” The word “refraineth” means to restrain or hold back. In other words, God is saying that the wisest person is not the one who speaks a lot, but the wisest person is the one who knows how to stay quiet when they want to say something. God is not saying that it will always be easy to stay quiet; that is why He used the word, “refraineth.” God knew that the hardest thing a person can do is to be quiet in times when they want to say something. Let me share with you several times when you need to be quiet.
First, be quiet when you are angry. Many words are spoken in anger that destroys relationships. It is wise to refrain from speaking when you are angry because your mouth is often out-of-control because of anger’s passion. You may say what you are thinking in anger, but what you are thinking may not help the situation to get better. Though you may want to say something, you need to refrain your mouth from saying anything and just be quiet.
Second, be quiet when you don’t know what to say. Rambling often puts foolishness on display. You have to realize that you don’t always have to have something to say. The greatest wisdom you can show is to stay quiet when you don’t know anything about what is being spoken. Just because you have the opportunity to give your opinion doesn’t mean that your opinion is right. People don’t need opinions; people need facts and truth.
Third, be quiet when what you say will not help. There are times when you could say something that is right, but those listening will not listen. Matthew 7:6 says, “…neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” If what you are going to say is not going to change the situation because those listening have no desire to listen, you would be best to stay quiet instead of getting into a conversation that will only leave you frustrated.
Fourth, be quiet when what you say won’t help the situation. Verses 20-21 say, “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.” There will be times when you know what will help, but don’t know how to word what will help. Wait until you what you say is the right thing and timing to help the situation.
Your words define you. If you don’t want to be defined as a fool, you would be wise to learn to be quiet.