Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
(Proverbs 30:5-6 ESV)
This is a solemn warning to people like me who think we have something to say about God’s words! We need to ask ourselves whether it is helpful to write (or speak) what we think. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but will sharing that opinion be of any help or will it confuse things further? Or will it simply be another irrelevant rant?
Using words in a godly manner is important to me on this blog, it should be a concern of us all in real life. In my conversations I generally use too few words because I am an introvert and take Proverbs 17:28 a bit too seriously! It is not really about the individual words we say as much as what our purpose is with those words, what are we trying to achieve with the words we speak or write? Paul reminds Timothy to be careful about the discussions he get involved with:
Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
(2 Timothy 2:14-16 ESV)
It is so easy to disregard any particular conversation as being of little importance but words are powerful and once spoken, or read, cannot be retrieved. The message that has been communicated is sent, whether it was communicated well or poorly it cannot be put back into the mouth or pen. Jonathan Acuff discusses the negative aspects of ignoring the power of words in Why Christians are jerks online.