In preparation for my recent series on “Words of Grace” John Flavel’s writing on sinful speech was helpful. Here is an excerpt taken from ‘A Caution to Seamen: A Dissuasive against Several Horrible and Destestable Sins’ on the subject of idle words (bold emphasis mine):
That is, useless chat, unprofitable talk, that is not referred any way to the glory of God. This is a common evil, and little regarded by most men; but yet a sin of server aggravations than most imagine: light words weigh heavy in God’s balance.
Flavel continues in argument #2:
It is a sinful wasting of our precious time; and that puts a further aggravation upon it. Consider, sirs, the time of life is but a little spot between two eternities. The longsuffering God wheels about those glorious celestial bodies over your heads in a constant revolution to beget time for you; and the preciousness of every minute thereof results from its use and end: it is intended and afforded as a space to you to repent in (Rev. 2:21). And therefore great things depend upon it: no less than your eternal happiness or misery hangs upon those precious opportinties. Every minute of it has an influence into eternity. How would the damned value one hour of it if they might enjoy it! The business you have to do in it is of unspeakable weight and concern: this great work, this soul-work, and eternity-work, lies upon your hands; you are cast into straits of time about it: and, if so, what an evil is it in you to waste it away thus to no purpose!