A Grain of Restraint Can Save a Truckload of Regret {3 areas we fail in sparing our words}

He that has knowledge spares his words – Proverbs 17:27

She that has knowledge has learned to spare her words.
She has learned both through experience, and from her study and understanding of The Word. She knows that,

“In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking.”

As humans, we are inclined to speak impulsively, and often with little thought of the consequences.

What if words were tangible matter, and we could collect them all in a bucket to consider at the end of the day? This would definitely be a way to gather knowledge, and I think it most certainly would result in our sparing of words. I also believe that we would notice that the wholesome words were not the ones spoken impulsively. The words we end up losing sleep over, those are the ones spoken impulsively.

Wholesome words are most often the product of disciplined thought and discernment. This is hard to do when we are emotionally, “impaired”. So, in restraining our words, we must also restrain our emotions and natural impulses.

Unfortunately, these impulses have become brutally resistant habits, and oftentimes, by the time we think about it, the words are out, and the damage is done.

So, how can we prepare to guard our lips from these types of sins, and learn to spare our words?

First, a knowledge, or awareness of the situations we are most liable to speak impulsively is important. These will be the same areas where our speech will cause destruction, and regret. In observing, and acquiring knowledge of my own personal frailty and vulnerabilities, I propose:

3 Common Situations We Fail in Sparing Our Words

Moments of Anger or Frustration

In moments of anger or frustration, we are liable to lash out and use words that destroy and produce so much regret. In these moments, unfortunately, upon opening our mouth, both quantity and quality work against us. In moments of anger or frustration, it is better to just say nothing. I always find dealing with it after the emotions settle yields better fruit.

I am often reminded of this verse in James:

…the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. -James 1:20

Moments of Excitement

In moments of excitement we are liable to leak out secrets that can cause a lot of hurt to others. The bible calls this word-sin, talebearing. We need to be especially careful, in moments of excitement, to guard our lips against talebearing.

I remember when we were expecting our first child, a friend took the prerogative to share our secret news with the multitudes. Folks were coming up to me left and right congratulating me. It was my news to tell, and I was excited to share it. I felt hurt that this opportunity was seized because this friend chose to share what wasn’t hers to share. Whether she was excited or not, it was wrong, and at the time it hurt.

Moments of Idleness

Idleness can lend to sin in a variety of ways.

Have you ever found yourself out with a friend, and in desperation to avoid an “awkward silence”  grabbed at some random conversation starter only to realize it lent itself to gossip? Oh no! That awkward silence needn’t be awkward after all. In hind sight, who wouldn’t choose it over the ensuing guilt and heartache of poorly chosen words?


I know the observation of this knowledge has been a help for me to spare my words, and I hope that it will provide the same help for you.

A grain of restraint can save a truckload of regret.

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