In 2006, the results of a study conducted by San Francisco’s Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic created lots of conversations and even more jokes at the expense of women everywhere. The study claimed that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day while men spoke a mere 7,000 words per day.
For a few years, this study was quoted again and again to prove that women talk way more than men do. The Chair of the University of Texas Psychology Department did his own research to refute those numbers. After conducting numerous studies, the number of words spoken my men and by women were just about the same. This study, which is now the standard, claims that women average 16, 215 words per day compared to men at 15,669. The bottom line is that both men and women love words.
Even though Paul lived centuries before either of these studies, he knew that both men and women like to talk. I guess that might be the reason why Paul encourages the church in Philippi to carefully choose what kind of words they use. I love how Paul is subtle in his encouragement by referring to the Jewish people in the wilderness.
If you remember, God leads His people out of Egypt with Pharaoh’s army in hot pursuit. The people found themselves stuck in the middle with the army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them. God steps in again, parts the waters, the people cross over and the army drowns. Then three days later, the people are complaining, whining and grumbling. And those three words are probably the best characterization of the years spent in the wilderness. The Israelites perfected the art of the grumble!
Paul uses the example of the Israelites to remind the people to, “Do all things without grumbling and arguing…” Hmmm, maybe that could be the sermon for the week…a short seven-word sermon and then sit down. Oh wait, I would want to add a few more words that Paul wrote. People of FUMCMC, do all things without grumbling and arguing, for then you “…shall shine like stars.”
MIC DROP AND SIT DOWN