Too Many Words


The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they? 

~Ecclesiastes 6:11, NLT


Brevity is the great charm of eloquence.


Solomon begins this thought in verse 10…Whatever exists has already been named, and it is known what man {Adam} is; for he cannot dispute with Him who is stronger than he {Adam} is. In reality, Adam was the first teacher. It was Adam who experienced the pain of the fall and it was Adam who gained the first insight into man’s limitations. Adam, in his quest for knowledge, quickly learned that he could not contend with God. God allowed him to choose between good and evil but Adam could not escape the consequences of his choice because God was infinitely greater and there was no point in arguing the matter. The more Adam said on the subject, the less it meant. Solomon has already stated in Proverbs 10…Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.” He said in Ecclesiastes 5… Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool… Don’t let your mouth make you sin… Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities.” 

The constant struggle of preaching is to discipline your words and it cannot be done a part from humility, prayer and lots and lots of study. Bro. Inman use to say: “If you want me to preach and hour, give me a days notice. If you want me to preach 30 minutes give me a weeks notice but if you want me to preach 15 minutes, give me a months notice.” My wife has never heard a short sermon she didn’t like. I made Dr. Randy Atchley a promise to preach a 15 sermon at the Annual meeting in 2016. He didn’t believe I could do it and it wasn’t easy. It’s difficult to get a message down to 15 minutes. I’ve had good mentor’s through the years; none them told me I could sing and none of them told me I was a great preacher and not to worry about time. One preaching professor said, “Be brilliant or be brief,” in my case, I have no choice but to be brief. Another said, “Be sincere, be brief and be seated.” Judge Newby said, “Jack, you need to quit before they do.” Mother always said, “The mind cannot absorb more than the rear end can stand.” When I first began trying to preach; my sermons were embarrassingly short than after a year or so, I went to the opposite extreme. My mother pulled me aside: She said, “Son, that was a long sermon today, too long.” I was sharp as a knife in those days and I had a quick come back, “Mother, if they are right with God, they will listen.” She said, “Who are you trying to reach, those who are right with God or those who are not?” Wow! She had me in a corner.

Let me tell you a story. I was visiting with some friends of mine just after a COLS. We were standing by the grave reminiscing old times and an old preacher came up in the conversation. I will not call his name although some of my readers will figure it out. The older this preacher got, the longer his sermons. He truly loved to hear himself talk. He was proud of the fact that he could stand, on the spur of the moment, and preach for an hour without the first note. I’m a witness, the old bird could do it but what he didn’t realize was: no one wanted to hear him preach for an hour. He had served the church were we were standing and one of the deacons said, “He came by the last time we were without a preacher and asked if he could say a few words after our Wednesday service. He wanted to be our interim pastor.” They politely agreed to let him say a few words and he proceeded to share a few words, an hour later he finally hushed. After he finished, one of the older deacons who didn’t want him back anyway said, “Well, I want have to worry about him coming back now, he just sealed his own doom.” The old man didn’t understand his limitations.

A former Praise and Worship leader and supposedly a friend told me after a service, “You are a lot like Adrian Rogers,” Then he paused and waited for my countenance to swell, then he said, “There are only two differences, it’s what you say and how you say it.” If I were not a Christian, I would have hit him in the face. A part of our spiritual growth is to realize our limitations. Its like the story of the preacher who began to believe that he was really good as an orator. He said to his wife, “You know, there are not that many great preachers in this area.” She said, “You’re right, there is not but there is one less than you think there is.” 

  • Another beautiful day. Have you ever seen so many shades of green as we have this spring. It is a beautiful time of the year.
  • NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER…May 3, 11:30, Central Baptist Fountain.
  • I know you don’t care for my kind of music but this is one that June likes. I thought I would share with you. Hallelujah is Hebrew for PRAISE THE LORD.

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