April 20, 2009
The Quality of our Words
No one reading this article will be shocked to learn that women talk more than men. But I was curious about any research that might offer some definitive support for that widely held opinion. Apparently, many authors have addressed this issue and attempted to determine the actual number of words used each day by men and women. In the book “Female Brain,” the author asserts that women speak about 20,000 words a day and men only mutter 7,000 a day.
A” Psychology Today “article affirmed that women speak 7,000 words a day and men only 2,000. In Dobson’s book “Love for a Lifetime,” the assertion is that women speak 50,000 words a day and men only 25,000 words. Regardless of the study cited, it is obvious that the a lot more words are coming out of women than out of men!
The real issue though is not the quantity of words we use, but the quality of our expressions. We seem to be living in a land of rude, impatient and unkind folks and our conversations affirm that. In many ways, the manner in which we address each other has almost deteriorated to a level of disdain. In times gone by, swearing was a choice not selected in polite company. Today those words are bantered around like verbal ping pong balls. People in authority do not automatically get our respect. No body gets the benefit of the doubt. We just blast away!
Consider for a moment, a verse tucked away in I Samuel 3:19. The prophet Samuel is a young boy but God has made clear that He has a powerful ministry assigned to him. The verse tells us that as Samuel grew, the Lord was with him. But it is the next phrase that interests me, “…and (God) let none of his words fall to the ground.”
If modern scholars are correct, Samuel must have averaged about 7000 words a day and yet, God makes clear that none of them “fell to the ground” or in other words, “none of them were meaningless.”
Solomon in Ecclesiastes urged us to “let our words be few” (5:2) and to select them carefully. He goes on to remind us that the words of the wise are on some occasions, gracious (10:12) and on other occasions like “goads” (12:11).
The challenge for us is to determine (before we speak) which words of our repertoire are best suited for the occasion. Being “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger…” (James 1:19) is good counsel.
This is a great goal for us this week. Let’s temper our speech in such a way that none of them fall to the ground!
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools