Word Limits (059)

For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, as well as in many words: but you must fear God. (Ecclesiastes 5:7 WEB)

Evan was an unexpected and delightful addition to our family. Of our four children, he was the only one born on the mission field. Granted, being born on Guam makes him an American citizen but it’s still special, just as he is special.

As each of our children were born, we wondered what characteristics they’d develop and how God would use us to raise them for His glory. Evan began showing his verbal abilities at a young age. There’s a repetitive series of events for raising children. You have a newborn baby and are excited while waiting for them to start walking and talking. When they finally reach these plateaus in their life, you spend the next few years wishing they’d sit down and be quiet.

As soon as Evan discovered he too had the ability to speak, he took to talking like a fish takes to water. There’s a direct link between every thought which goes through his brain and the movement and sound from his lips.

According to his older brothers and sister, he was a great source of conversation even as a three and four year old. They’d come home from school and have difficulty sharing their tales from the day because Evan had so much to say.

I read a magazine article which discussed word limits. The author figured each person has a word limit per day after which others need to speak. Based on their numbers and my calculations Evan exceeds his word limit before he finishes breakfast. If you figure the remainder of the day when he continues to talk and look at the average life span, he would have to be mute from the age of thirteen to compensate for the abundant number of words spoken on an average day.

We love Evan and figure he is a slow eater because he talks so much between bites. When it comes to school plays, speeches in class and sharing the Gospel there’s a benefit to a large vocabulary and unhindered speaking ability.

Compared to the volumes published by many modern preachers and teachers it’s amazing to discover how few words of Jesus are recorded in Scripture. God knows just how to turn a phrase and make a point without long detailed explanations.

Evan is learning this and so am I. Maybe we should each look at how we share the Gospel and consider whether we are adding too many words to the perfect words of Christ. Apparently Jesus didn’t think that long theological explanations were necessary to point people to God. If Jesus didn’t think we needed all that verbiage then why do we feel a need to inundate others with our educational prowess and extended vocabulary when the simple message of the Gospel will suffice?

There’s a place for many words in this world. I pray we can carefully determine when and where they’re necessary and how they may lead others to God’s throne of grace. I also pray we learn when a few choice and simple words will suffice to describe God’s love and grace.

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