Idle Words

Researchers say the average American male speaks 6073 words per day, and the average American female speaks 8805 words per day. That’s a lot of words! Can you remember everything you said today?

Can you at least remember the gist of your major conversations?


Here’s what Jesus said:

But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. (Matthew 12:36)

The dictionary defines idle as “something of no real worth, importance, or significance.” And the Greek dictionary says idle in this verse means “free from labor; barren.”

So I’m taking a little time to reflect…

  • Are all my words worthwhile?
  • Are they important?
  • Are they significant?
  • Did all my words do some good to someone?

If I can’t say “Yes,” it’s time to change my vocabulary, or maybe I just need to speak fewer words.

2 Responses to “Idle Words”

  1. Ben Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It was valuable.


  2. Betsy Says:

    Good reminder. We need to strive to listen twice as much as we speak. That is a challenge to me. However, if I really do that, I am far less likely to speak those idle words to which you are referring. Instead, I may glean a greater insight into another person’s situation and give words of encouragement, counsel or playfulness that are far more beneficial.


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