Proverbs 11:9-13. Words.
Words cut. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’ Solomon never penned these words, aside from them being untrue. Words matter. Words have weight, words have matter. “The power of life and death is in the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21. NLT – “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” This verse, and the thoughts implicit in these verses (9-13), speaks of too much talk as being a problem. Eventually, too many words will lead in the wrong direction. We always end up saying things we may not have originally intended.
Words spoken ill advisedly, intentionally or otherwise, have the habit of destroying friendships. If you talk too much, even about your friends, you will say things about them that separate you, as we all have a desire to make others less and ourselves more. It is simply better to say nothing than belittle others with your words. The temptation to say is large – it is wise to resist it. An attitude always grows when too many words about others are aired.
What is true on a personal level translates seamlessly and obviously to a national level. Undisciplined talk of your friends or neighbors will be undisciplined talk of your city, its governing authorities etc. And this kind of talk is never helpful, edifying and intent on building something up. On the contrary. Everyone has an opinion and everyone else has to hear it.
People who talk too much eventually get labeled as ‘gossips’ and that isn’t an appellation you want. Gossips are nosey people, conveying ‘weighted’ information that is no business of theirs or others in such a manner as to cause suspicion and distrust in relations (if the gossip is about mutual connections/friendships). But it is a popular pass time and has a certain sense of the ‘delicious’ inherent. But it never does any good, and people who are exercised by it are seldom much better. Proverbs 18:8, “Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.” And are therefore difficult to dislodge.