I talk too much.
This wouldn’t be a problem, except for one small detail: when I talk, most people feel obligated to listen. Some of my acquaintances have probably perfected the art of Tuning Out Adam, but the rest have no choice but to suffer politely through my ramblings, rants and dramatic monologues.
Even after I realized I talk too much, I didn’t think it was a serious fault. Pastors don’t preach sermons about the sin of talkativeness. The Lord Jesus didn’t warn against being too chatty. The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about rampant loquacity.
At least that’s what I thought.
Once, years ago, I contradicted a high school teacher about a passage of Scripture. A grim expression came over his face. He busted out a Bible. One of my classmates whispered, “Oh, Adam’s about to get Scripture-owned.” As it turned out, my teacher was absolutely correct. I was chastened, humbled and embarrassed.
Pretty much the same thing happened in regard to my tendency to talk too much.
Much to my discomfort, I kept finding verses in Scripture that suggest talking too much is a foolish thing to do.
Solomon had all kinds of things to say in the book of Proverbs.
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”
New Testament writers were equally eloquent upon the subject.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen,” wrote the Apostle Paul.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” wrote James the brother of Jesus.
Most discomforting were words spoken by the Lord Jesus himself: “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”
Wait, I’ll have to give account for every careless word I’ve spoken? Every careless word I’ve ever spoken?
Once again, I got Scripture-owned.
One of my resolutions for this year is not to talk quite so much. Have I broken this resolution? Yes, yes I have. I’m still working on it.
I’m an introvert, someone often with a lack for spoken words. I actually struggle with talking too much as well, feeling sometimes that I need to just say something if I haven’t said anything in a while. That’s probably confusing, but even amid my quietness I need wisdom over when to speak the right words and when to hold back.
I sympathize: I’m also an introvert, yet I still manage to talk too much. Go figure.
I’m enjoying your blog, by the way.