Chattering Fool

The Chattering Fool

As I was looking through the tenth chapter of Proverbs, I noticed that it mentioned a chattering fool twice, leaving the impression that too much talking is not good.  A chattering fool will come to ruin.  Prov. 10:8, 10.  Why would she come to ruin?  Could it be that people who know her gossiping ways are smart enough to figure out that she must also gossip about them?  That could leave her with no friends.  Could it be that her words have slandered a reputation, and it came back to “bite” her?  Verse 19 tells us that when words are many, sin isn’t absent, but she who holds her tongue is wise.  Verse 14 tells us that the mouth of a foolish person invites ruin.  I would like to invite many things into my life, but ruin is not on my list.  I guess I had better be careful to watch my words!

As we look further, we see that verse 7 tells us that the name of the wicked will rot.  Looking at verse 11, we find that one of the things which the wicked do is to speak violent words.  Verse 32 tells us that the wicked speak what is perverse.  In verse 18, it says that she who spreads slander is a fool.  As we ponder on the words that we speak, do we speak violent words?  Do we speak what is perverse?  Do we slander others?  Do we speak before knowing the facts?  Even if we do know the facts, should we be speaking them?  If we slip into these habits, we need to remember that God’s Word declares that people who speak these things are wicked!  Some more descriptive words for wicked are foul, profane, evil-minded, depraved, degraded, disreputable, indecent, scandalous, atrocious, monstrous, and rotten.  Those words sure don’t sound very complementary.

Unfortunately, even in the church, we have far too many instances of wickedness proceeding from the mouths of God’s people.  In Gal. 5:13-15, Paul was addressing the church when he said that we shouldn’t be using our freedom to indulge our sinful nature, but we should be serving one another in love.  We are commanded to love our neighbor as ourself.  Then, we are admonished to watch out because if we keep biting and devouring each other (could he mean with our words?), we will end up destroying each other.

I love what it says in Proverbs 31.  “When” she speaks, the law of kindness is on her tongue.  The word “when” implies that there are times when she isn’t speaking.  She knows when to open her mouth, and she also knows when to keep it closed.  May God teach us to do the same.

In closing, ponder on this:  God made you to have two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, two hands, two feet, but only ONE mouth. 

Lord, help us to use our one and only mouth to glorify you in all that we say.  Help us not to ever invite ruin into our lives by being a chattering fool.  Rather, help us to impart grace into the lives of those around us by the words which we speak.  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

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