You don’t need very many.

by | Oct 20, 2020 | Spiritual Life | 0 comments

Proverbs 10:19 is pretty famous in Christians circles, and for good reason: it’s very practical. It reads:

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.

Other translations have it:

When words are many, sin is not lacking.
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable.
Those who talk a lot are likely to sin. 

It’s almost as if, just by percentages, the more you speak, the more sin becomes inevitable.

“But he who retrains his lips is prudent.”


The lips of the righteous feed many.” (Proverbs 10:21)

…but not by being “many” words. It is their quality which feeds many, not their quantity. A few rich, dense words, weighty with God’s weight, will do God’s sustaining work, more than many words light with the weightlessness of my own heart.

This is why “the tongue of the learned” knows how to speak:

  • “a word” – just a word!
  • “in season” – at the perfect time
  • “to him who is weary” – to the right audience

Few words, which find their mark at the perfect time.

As Isaiah said:

The Lord GOD has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.