Ruinous Talk

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Talk, talk, talk! Do you ever get tired of all the talk shows and the talking (sometimes squawking) heads of so-called news shows? I do!

How about the seemingly endless chatter and shared opinions on social media, including blogs? How much of this talk is necessary? Does it have value?

An old saying goes, "Silence is golden." Ah, silence, but where can it be found? Perhaps it needs to start with each one of us.


The wise do what they are told, but a talkative fool will be ruined. The honest person will live in safety, but the dishonest will be caught. A wink may get you into trouble, and foolish talk will lead to your ruin. The words of a good person give life, like a fountain of water, but the words of the wicked contain nothing but violence. Hatred stirs up trouble, but love forgives all wrongs. [vss 8-12]

Wise people speak with understanding, but people without wisdom should be punished. The wise don’t tell everything they know, but the foolish talk too much and are ruined. Having lots of money protects the rich, but having no money destroys the poor. Good people are rewarded with life, but evil people are paid with punishment. Whoever accepts correction is on the way to life, but whoever ignores correction will lead others away from life. [vss 13-17]

Whoever hides hate is a liar. Whoever tells lies is a fool. If you talk a lot, you are sure to sin; if you are wise, you will keep quiet. The words of a good person are like pure silver, but an evil person’s thoughts are worth very little. Good people’s words will help many others, but fools will die because they don’t have wisdom. [vss 19-21]

(Proverbs 10:8-21 NCV) [Context– Proverbs 10]

Key phrase

If you talk a lot, you are sure to sin; if you are wise, you will keep quiet.

Digging Deeper...

  1. What things are said about the wise in contrast to the foolish, in vss 8-12? How do these things relate to hate and love in vs 12?
  2. How are wisdom and foolishness connected to the outcome of a person's life (especially in vss 13-17)?
  3. What do words reveal about a person's character? How are words connected to what a person does in life?
  4. If hate stirs up trouble and love brings forgiveness—How can the hate be reduced and the love promoted?

Make it personal...

When do you find yourself talking too much? What do you talk about the most?

When you don't talk out loud (or in social media) are you able to find quietness in your mind and heart?

What sort of things stir up anger, strife and hatred in you? How do you deal with these feelings?

What are specific ways you pursue and promote quietness, forgiveness, and kindness in your life?


Warnings abound throughout the book of Proverbs about words and wisdom. Basically, more talk produces problems, and those that are wise use fewer words.

An old saying points out, "God created us with two ears and one mouth." In other words, we ought to do more listening than talking.

Fewer words, wisely chosen, tend to result in less strife and more peace. Which will you choose—more... or less?