Brenda’s Blog – September 7, 2021
Psychologists determined women speak 20,000 words a day while men use only 7,000.
One of the downsides of aging and living alone is the inability to use anywhere near 20,000. This week I had lunch with a dear friend. We started talking at noon and finally said goodbye at 4:30. Sharing and catching up went deeper and deeper.
We laughed about being in social situations, being asked a question, and completely “overtalking,” unable to stop. My brother in law retired as a therapist. He told me of a strategy he developed for women (like me) who find themselves turning into social chatterboxes. “When you realize you are dominating the conversation think W.A.I.T. = Why Am I Talking? This should help you put the brakes on and engage more appropriately.”
Steve Brown, of KeyLife Network, used Peter as an illustration in a recent sermon. His description tickled me. “Peter stood with Jesus, John, and Mark as Moses and Elijah appeared in person on the mountain. Where most would be speechless, not Peter. He didn’t know what to say, so HE SAID IT!”
An article by Rosario Butterfield on Christian hospitality made excellent points about building bridges with neighbors. “We all have strong beliefs and opinions, but we don’t have to say everything that is on our hearts.” Her story of coming to faith through neighbors’ kindness and hospitality emphasized the importance of measuring our words.
The same Peter who awkwardly fumbled through the miraculous appearing on the mountaintop later wrote to Jews who were driven from their home regions. “Be prepared always to give a reason for the hope that is in you.” But he didn’t advocate theological debates, finger-pointing, Bible-thumping behavior. No, he completed his thought by telling them the defense was to be with gentleness and grace.
In a world where overtalking and talking over are the conversational norms it is good to consider the value of appropriate and effective speech. Communicating with each other enables relationships to deepen, businesses to thrive, and church communities to grow. To do this we must hone our verbal skills, operating in truth and skill.