I recognize myself in much of this chapter. UGH..I truly cannot wait until I come upon a chapter that I do not see myself in, but I doubt that will happen. But, on the positive side, here I am, once again, walking through the fire to become sanctified. PTL! 🙂
The HASTY tongue:
I am starting by giving the Biblical references first, so they are clearly stated, and easy to locate. When I am referring to a specific verse or verses, I will put the letter in parentheses or after the paragraph. EX: (a). All verses are KJV.
a. Proverbs 18 v 13: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”
b. Proverbs 29 v 20: “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”
c. Judges 11 v 30-40: Please read: an awesome story about hasty verbal commitments)
d. Ecclesiastes 5 v 2: “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
e. Ecclesiastes 5 v 4-6: “When thou vowest a VOW unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. (5) Better is it that thou shouldest not VOW, than that thou shouldeth VOW and not pay. (6) Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before an angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”
f. James 3 v 2: “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”
In life, there are many things we can correct by “do over’s.” But, words spoken can never be taken back or “unheard”, and time spent will never be recovered. The Lord has commanded us to use these very precious commodities in a thoughtful way.
Words, we are to use sparingly and with discernment; perhaps this is why our bodies are designed with one mouth and two ears. Listening more and speaking less, or at the very least, speaking AFTER listening benefits us all.
I am a person who engages my mouth prior to engaging my brain. This makes conversations uncomfortable at times. Words or comments I make can be misinterpreted, or I just flat out innocently offend other’s by not knowing their sensitivities to my chosen words. It would be impossible to know each and every persons sensitivity level, depending on his/her past life experiences. Some people may be offended by the most innocent or non-inflammatory observation, or an attempt to interject humor into the conversation (totally me), as I know nothing about a painful experience they may have in their past. Listening, and being guided by the Holy Spirit helps us direct our comments in a way that will not offend those we are talking to.(f)
Many times, my insecurities show when I respond in haste before really listening to the speaker, therefore, I don’t grasp the entirety of the comment/question/statement before answering. An example of this is when I used to interview for a new position as an R.N. I would “think” I knew what the panel was asking me, and answer quickly (out of nervousness, habit, whatever), and then, seeing the blank stares looking back at me, I would realize I missed the point of the question, and my answer was not the well thought out response it should have been, given my skills/knowledge and years in the field.
It would take 1 or 2 questions before I was calm enough to answer correctly, but like I said, words cannot be taken back, and time cannot be recovered. Also, there is that saying about “First impressions being lasting impressions.” I have been blessed that the Lord has opened the eyes and hearts of the panel in the positions where I was to work, and they gave me a second chance. (a,b)
Another problem I (and many others) have is committing in haste, before prayer, or before really knowing what we were committing to.
I used to promise to pray for someone, and then walk away and promptly forget it when I was saying my prayers that evening. I have found that stopping at that moment when asked, and praying right then and there addressed this problem. God wants us to keep our promises. As Christians, and adults, we want to be dependable. Looking back in Ecclesiastes, God provided us with guidance by scenarios that had serious consequences. We are reminded by Solomon to not forfeit our commitments with excuses by saying our promises were accidental mistakes.(d,e)
Another lesson in Judges cost a young maiden love, her possible future marriage and children. (The author and I have different opinions on the outcome for Jeph’than’s maiden daughter: in KJV, his daughter was doomed to be a virgin for life, and the author contends that “Scripture is not clear to whether he sacrificed her on an altar of fire (contrary to God’s laws) or whether she was doomed to be a virgin the rest of her life.”) Either way, Jeph’than’s only daughter paid the price for his hasty vow. (c-definitely worth the read!)
In conclusion, I believe the following verse sums it up nicely:
James 1 v 19: “Wherefor, my beloved brethern, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
I am swift to hear and slow to speak. The LORD has set a guard over my mouth and He keeps watch over the door of my lips.
God Bless, See you next time!