Research shows that the average person speaks about 7000 words per day – men usually use less and women … well, you do the math. Considering I have four daughters and a wife, that’s a lot of words in our house!
Today’s passage in Proverbs starts off with a very powerful reminder of the impact of our words – “A fools’ mouth is his ruin” (v. 7). I don’t like to think of myself as a fool, but I must admit that words have gotten me in and out of a lot of trouble through the years. It’s said that the mouth is both a tool and a weapon. Over time my family and friends have been recipients of a lot of my encouragement, but sadly, there have also been times when words from my mouth have caused a lot of pain. This is a powerful reminder for all of us to use our words wisely.
Acts 10 is one of my favourite chapters. I was 15 years old when my pastor led me through a prayer of confession based on verse 9, which says – “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (NASB). These are words I never want to take back because they reflect the very essence of the gospel message. This chapter encompasses much that is central to Jesus’ impact on our lives – our prayers (v.1), testimony (v.2), words of faith (v.6), confessions (v.9, 10), calling on God (v.12, 13, 14), preaching (v.14), reporting (v.16), sharing the word of Christ (v.17) – our words have the capacity to be redeemed for the Kingdom in many ways.
Now that I am older, verse 15 has become a focused prayer for me - “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Although I am not so sure I have “beautiful” feet, I do know the good news I share with others has eternal value. I have shared this verse many times in reference to our International Workers. Yet, it is equally applicable to all of us; our purpose is to share the good news. My prayer today is that our voices are heard “in all the earth … our words to the ends of the world” (v.18).
Let’s make the most of our 7000 words.
Much-loved pastor who oversees Men’s Ministries, Marriage Ministries and Missions