Every line of work has liabilities.
My work involves a lot of talking or many words. Sometimes it’s public speaking and radio production; other times it’s writing and counseling, or leading a group discussion.
So what are the liabilities beyond the risk of losing my voice?
There is the danger of violating the wisdom that says, “…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19).
Perhaps God gave us two ears and one mouth to make this point.
- “He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13).
Of course, there are sinful kinds of listening (listening to slander and gossip, or giving ear to deception and false accusations).
I often live between the tension of Proverbs 26:4-5 – “Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.”
Wisdom is needed to know the difference.
Another liability is people hearing you the wrong way or misquoting you. I’ve had this happen many times. Someone will say to me, “You said….” and then he will misquote, twist or distort what I said. This is part of the reality of my work. The recording of what I say has offered clarity, but even the facts won’t change some people’s minds. I try to respond with grace and truth.
The Proverb I was thinking about reveals another potential liability in my work.
- “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
- “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut” (New Living Translation).
Good words for those who use many words!
Prayer is needed
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14).