Proverbs 10:19

Proverbs 10:19 "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise."
Proverbs 10:19 Christian Church WNY
For the past 22 months, our world has been trying to figure out how to stop a deadly virus – the infamous COVID-19.  Somewhere in the midst of loud opposing political voices is a scientific community attempting to get a handle on the ever-mutating virus.  Spiritual and potential prophetic realities aside, if our world is ever going to truly prevail over the virus, the politics need to give way to true scientific research.  If we’re ever going to learn to live with COVID, the politics and related emotions must give way to unbiased scientific research.  Scientists free of political or monetary prejudice are best suited to address a global pandemic. They can observe, chart and document data associated with the virus, from which sound conclusions can be drawn.  It is with this irrefutable evidence that sound policies can then be recommended.  Data gathered in a scientifically sound study is invaluable when facing a medical crisis.

In Solomon’s day, there is no Biblical or historical evidence that Israel faced a health crisis like COVID-19.  There is, however, plenty of evidence that they faced a spiritual crisis.  In fact, they faced the same spiritual crisis that we face today and that humanity has been wrestling with since Adam took a bite of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It is the spiritual crisis of SIN.  Sin has impacted every human being that has ever been conceived and it will continue to impact everyone until God makes all things new.  Solomon was impacted by sin and as a result, he enlisted in the fight against it.  Before he was political in the fight against sin, he was scientific.  Before he passed laws and policies to combat sin in his nation, Solomon studied sin in the laboratory.  Stripped of political prejudice and emotional bias, this spiritual scientist studied sin in the lives of unknowing subjects.  He documented and charted the behavior of people infected with sin.  He observed and inventoried the conditions in which sin thrived throughout mankind.
 
This proverb is the conclusion of a spiritual scientist as well as the suggested solution to the spiritual virus. Solomon observed the same thing in both men and women, in both boys and girls.  He saw the same thing in both young people and in old people.  He witnessed the same trend in the rich and in the poor.  He observed a direct correlation between words and sin.  He saw a clear relationship between the number of words a person spoke and the number of sins that person committed.  When someone spoke a lot of words, they never lacked sin.  Solomon concluded that sin is never absent in a conversation with an abundance of words.  With that data in hand, the spiritual scientist turned counselor advised his readers to refrain their lips so as to reduce or stop the spread of sin.  

If you looked at humanity the same way that Solomon looked at it, you would conclude that the more a person speaks, the more that person sins.  If you looked at humanity the same way that God looks at it, you would conclude that there is a direct correlation between our mouth and our morality.  If you took out the self-defending bias that comes natural to the soul, you would conclude that as our words increase, so do our chances to say something we shouldn’t say.  The more we speak, the more likely we are to say something that is untrue.  The more we speak, the more likely we are to say something that is hurtful.  The more we speak, the more likely we are to say something that is foolish or irreverent.
 
“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.”  

Furthermore, the more we speak, the more likely we are to say something that someone takes the wrong way and goes on to entertain hatred in their heart.  The more we speak, the more likely we are to say something that stirs a listener to anger or bitterness.  Our mouths are the super spreaders of sin.  The more we open our mouths, the more likely sin will come out of them.  The more we open our mouths, the more likely sin will be born in the hearts of our listeners.

“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.”  

The greater number of words we speak, the greater level of moral risk we put ourselves in.  It is for this reason that Solomon declared a man wise who refrained his lips.  While some may be shyer and more socially reserved than others, it is no small task to limit our words.  In 2007, the University of Arizona published its findings after 8 years of tracking 396 people to see how many words a person speaks in a day.  Outfitted with recording devices that turned on every 12.5 minutes, these 396 subjects had their words recorded and documented.  Researchers concluded that people speak around 16,000 words each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to lie each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to respond sinfully each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to use profanity each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to hurt someone’s feelings each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to say something unloving to your wife each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to say something disrespectful to your husband each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to say something dishonorable to your parents each day.  That’s 16,000 chances to say something unkind to your sibling, co-worker and classmate.
 
Think about it - most of our sincere apologies are the result of saying something we shouldn’t have said.  Very rarely, if ever, do we need to apologize for not saying something. Talking is risky business.  A lot of talk is always accompanied by sin.  A wise person understands this and combats sin by controlling the door to their words. James wrote extensively about the mouth and its role in the spread of sin. James 3:5-8, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of INIQUITY: so is the tongue among our members, that it DEFILETH the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly EVIL, full of deadly poison.”  Just like Solomon, James connects wisdom to the man who understands the correlation between our words and our sin in the passage.  James 3:13, “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

Christian, follow the science – the more we speak, the more likely we are to sin.  Armed with this data, we can safely conclude that the less we speak, the less likely we are to sin.  “He that refraineth his lips is wise.”

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