The Holy Scriptures say time and again that idle talk is a sin, but we usually do not take it seriously. And yet this is a sin that God will judge very severely. It is listed together with immorality and impurity and covetousness, which are not fitting among saints (Eph 5: 3f). In summary the Apostle Paul says, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them" (Eph. 5: 6f). Our idle talk incites the wrath of God. And the wrath of God always brings us judgment, if we do not repent. We cannot play around with this sin. Talking is a very serious matter. Our words will not blow away like chaff. They will arise again at the Last Judgment. Not one of them will be lost. One day we must give account of every unprofitable word; we will be judged according to our words (Matt. 12: 36f). And woe, if our tongue, "a restless evil, full of deadly poison" (Jas. 3: 8), was an instrument of evil, because we spoke poisonous, bitter, hate-filled and dirty words.
Since this sin of talkativeness "eats its way like gangrene" (2 Tim. 2: 17), a total operation has to be performed. According to Jesus' words, "If your eye (or tongue) causes you to sin, pluck it out" (Mark 9: 47). Otherwise you will risk being thrown into hell.
What is the way to being set free completely? First we must find the root of talkativeness. Often it is our desire for attention. We want to make ourselves important. We think we have to give our opinion about everything. How quickly these unprofitable words lead us to speak in a disparaging way about others who are not present! Or we begin to gossip and spread rumours, etc. Or sometimes we use idle talk to drown our bad conscience; sometimes we chatter out of laziness, because we do not want to work; sometimes out of bitterness, because we want to let out the poisonous thoughts in us. And there are many more reasons.
The deepest cause of talkativeness is that we are separated from Jesus. A talkative person usually does not speak much with Jesus, for conversation with Jesus makes us quiet and turns our thoughts to God. The less "quiet time" we have, the more talkative we are. Through many empty words and unprofitable talk we lose our liking for the hidden fellowship with Jesus. Everything depends upon giving Jesus more quiet time to listen to Him. When our personal meditation time is over and we return to people, His presence should accompany us and our words should be filled with His Holy Spirit. Then we can no longer tell shady jokes and we will not talk needlessly. We should only say what we would, were Jesus physically in our midst. Then only such talk will come out of our mouths as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear (Eph. 4: 29).
Certainly it will not be easy for many of us to find time for quiet during the course of a hectic, demanding day. But where there's a will, there's a way. Somehow there will be an opportunity. For instance, we can save time on visits or jobs that are more pleasurable than compulsory and give this time to Jesus. When we leave the quietness of our room and continue to carry on our conversation with Jesus in our hearts, our talking will improve almost by itself. In heaven Jesus will only hold conversations with those who sought Him here in prayer and did not give room to unprofitable talk.
Whoever says, "I do not know what to do with my quiet time" will not get rid of his talkativeness. He does not want to pay anything for the healing of this sinful disease. Patience and practice are required before we can converse with God, that is, before we can pray genuinely. But whoever wants to be freed from talkativeness will take Jesus' promise as a reality, "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21: 5).
Even our tongue will become new, so that it will be an instrument of God's Spirit and can speak His words and will be silent instead of speaking idle talk. Jesus Christ has come to set us free from the slavery of sin, from the evil fire in our tongue that can bring us judgment and hell. He has been given power even over our tongues.
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