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Stop Me if I Babel On (Oh, Lord, Prevent Me From Being a Fool!)

You may not know this about me, but I am an extremely insecure person. I still struggle with it, even after years of being a preacher. And do you know how my insecurity manifests itself? Word vomit. Sounds disgusting, right? But that’s what it feels like. I just keep spewing words, I fill silences, I let my words go instead of choosing them carefully. Even, sometimes, when I pray, the words are empty, and many, and become worthless. Yet, when I read Scripture, I find that dominating the conversation, filling the silences, and spewing forth many words isn’t something that is edifying for anyone, let alone myself.

Proverbs 1:7 ESV -The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 10:19 ESV -When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 12:16 ESV- The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.

Proverbs 17:28 ESV - Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 18:2 ESV-A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 18:6 ESV - A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.

Proverbs 18:7 ESV- A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Proverbs 20:3 ESV- It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.

Proverbs 28:26 ESV- Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

Proverbs 29:9 ESV- If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

Proverbs 29:11 ESV-A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Ecclesiastes 5:3 ESV -For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.

Matthew 6:5-8 ESV - And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 12:36-37 ESV -I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Do you see why I have cause for concern? I could have chosen more examples… but, Oh Lord, Forgive me, I have been such a fool! I have spoken, at times, when I should have kept silent. I have prayed to be heard, and not to seek your face. Forgive me for my careless words, may I weigh what I say, and speak when it is right to do so. Help me, Lord, with my words, to honor you always. Help me, Lord, to speak when I should, but to have wisdom when to keep silent. Have mercy on me, Lord, a fool.

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