"In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19
This passage is one of many similar passages in Proverbs regarding the use of speech for wisdom or foolishness. In hopes of removing any confusion from the message, I want to establish what Solomon is saying and what he is not saying.
What He is Not Saying:
An outgoing personality is sinful.
A quiet person is necessarily virtuous.
Conversation and interest in people’s lives is sinful.
What He is Saying:
There is an inherent danger when we speak of committing sin. This should not keep us from speaking, but it should cause us to carefully guard our words.
The dangers of over-talking are:
An inflated view of our opinion in comparison with others
Not carefully considering the whole matter
Danger of descending into gossip and slander
Danger of betraying the trust of others
Danger of foolish talking and jesting – vile speech
It is important to understand the above points so that we do not miss-apply this important message. God has given humans the gift of speech. It is one of marks that places us in the image of God, a level above the rest of creation. It is not a gift to be shunned. It is a gift to be guarded.