A study by Louann Brizendine from the University of California suggests that on average, women speak about 20,000 words a day while men speak about 7,000 words a day. Think about that. Just like time, we have a resource of words as well. (We only have so many hours in a day and we only have so many words in a day that we speak) Have you ever thought about words that way before, as a resource? How will you use your words today to not only benefit yourself but to benefit those around you?
Consider the verses from Proverbs 10:11-13:
Proverbs 10:11-13 (NLT)
The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses. Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding…
If we could put our allotment of daily words into a balance how would they weigh out? On one side we would place our “wise” words and on the other side, we would place our wicked, evil, and even worthless words. Every day we would weigh our words. Where would the balance land? Do you think you say more wise things daily or worthless things?
Think about all the worthless things we talk about in a day. Superficial conversations that mean little or nothing. But, let’s be honest, we can only talk about the things that we have knowledge of. Therefore, if all our conversations consist of superficial rhetoric then we have to admit that we are not “putting in” anything that is worthwhile into our brains to be able to talk about later. TV, music, and movies continually wash over our brains, filling them with empty brain calories that offer nothing of lasting value to myself or others that I want to have a conversation with.
So how do I become a person of wise speech?
I have to put wisdom into myself. I have to have a steady diet of wisdom. Daily Bible reading and meditation; regularly reading a quality book, journals, and blogs; and watching videos that inspire, encourage, and motivate. We cannot speak wise words to others if we are not putting wise words into our brains.
Here are a few thoughts on how to become a “life-giving” fountain to others:
- Commit to reading a Psalm and a chapter of Proverbs daily for 30 days
- Commit to turning off the Pop radio or talk radio station for the next 30 days
- Start listening to quality books or sermons/lectures in the car as you drive around town for the next 30 days
- Honestly evaluate YOUR life as you read and listen. Resist the urge to think; “This proverb would be so good for ________ to listen to.” NO, read and listen to change YOUR life – not someone else’s.
- Schedule a meeting with a good friend and share with them what you are learning and how your new reading and listening habits are revealing new areas of growth in your life.