Monday, April 11, 2011


Webster's defines mouthful as "a comment or a statement rich in meaning or substance." I have met people who took a lifetime to utter a mouthful. On the other hand I have been acquainted with those whose every mouthful was a mouthful. There used to be an advertisement for the investment firm E.F Hutton that stated, "When E.F Hutton speaks, people listen." Certain individuals have earned the respect of earnest ears and receptive minds to drink from their rich verbiage. I have to ask myself about the quality of my "mouthfuls." Recently I heard the term "verbarrhea." We all know what diarrhea is. "Verbarrhea" would have to be to much mouthful with no quality substance. I stand guilty as charged with this condition at various times. As a speaker and a writer I have been told to limit my wordiness. I remember one critic as saying my speech and writing were just one long run-on sentence. I have since taken some courses to improve these areas of my life. How often I have rehearsed speeches and letters to be eloquent, not offensive, not demeaning or too commanding. I fear being a cesspool of mindless meandering that pours out and spills onto innocent ears. Numerous times I have opened my mouth when the shut position would have fared me much better!
Exodus 4:10-12 states, "But Moses said to the LORD, "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue." Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak."
Wow! What a thought - the Lord God being with our mouths. In Psalm 139 we are told that before a word is ever on our tongues that He knows it altogether. I have been memorizing this to remind me to honor God and others with my words. The mouth either builds up or tears down the heart of our listeners. A mouthful can encourage another to soar to higher heights or plummet into a bottomless pit.
So today let's listen to our "mouthfuls" and evaluate if they are indeed rich in meaning and substance, worthy of an audience at all.