Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. - Proverbs 29:20
There could not be a more timely verse for me than this. Just a few days ago I saw the reality of this great truth.
While talking to a Christian young man whom I respect and admire I allowed hasty words to escape from my mouth which hurt him deeply. They were foolish words without merit that could have damaged our relationship. I said things that I had no basis for saying. I questioned his character with my hasty words. When he made me aware of what I had done I apologised and he graciously forgave me.
But the damage was done. Hasty words cannot be undone or recalled or unsaid. They can be laid aside and forgiven and used to build on, but there are out there forever.
Words and speech come up a lot in God’s word. Our tongues are unruly and impossible to tame. They can set a fire from hell itself.
Hasty words always do great damage. James put it this way, ‘be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.’
Too often I speak before I think or before I finish hearing. It always, always causes me trouble.
Lord, keep me from hasty words.