Words…and the 5 W’s


Anyone who know me, knows that I struggle with the propensity to talk too much.  I do not often spew unkind words or unhelpful words; nonetheless I can identify a text balloon that is jammed to the bursting point.  It is something I have prayed about, chided myself over, followed various disciplines regarding… and only rarely do I feel that I my amount of talking is “just right”!  Are you like me?

Simply put, we live in a world of words.  According to a 2013 post on a language blog, males average 7,000 words per day and females from 10,000-20000.  However, both average only about 500-700 words of actual value (these are words which actually are inteded to communicate something of importance to another person.).  That is sad, but not really terribly shocking.

Even if you are not a person who is prone to talk too much, I bet you still struggle with idle chatter at times because it is nearly expected of you in some situations.

We are a society that feels that talk is a measurement of our level of involvement, commitment, intelligence, devotion… and the list goes on.  So, is there a way to limit not only our idle chatter, but actually increase the number of words we say each day that have actual value?  I believe both objectives are valid.

What if before we opened our mouths to speak we mentally ran some, or all (depending on the situation) of the 5 W’s through our minds.  How might that change what we say, how much we say and what would be the value of these words?  Let me add one more element to this question: what if during that mental moment of thinking through the who, what, where, when and why – we also prayed for God to give us clarity and insight to speak only words of value.

Let me pose a few scenarios to explain where I am going with this.

1. You are meeting with a good friend to discuss the specifics of an upcoming important event both of you are attending.
Who?  You and your friend


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