by: FCC Staff
The Last Word
“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 29:20
Although I’ve never been formally diagnosed – I am fully aware of a chronic condition I’ve had since I spoke my first words…word-vomit. That’s right, in my haste of being ‘right’ or being ‘funny,’ I sometimes speak too soon (and too much!). Fortunately, I know I’m not the only one. In fact, today’s proverb addresses the very issue.
Proverbs 29:20 says “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” I resemble that remark! I would guess that most of us do, from time to time. In our timeless quest to have the first word, the last word, and the loudest words – we would do well to remember that hasty speech does not usually provide the best results. When you quickly snap back at your loved ones does it improve or damage your relationship? When you are angered at an email or text and immediately send a retort, does that usually end well? When your neighbor does that thing they do that irritates you to no end and in anger you immediately confront them, are you setting yourself up for success?
I’m guessing your answers were the same as mine. James has a lot of instruction for us in the realm of our speech. James 3:7-11 says, “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?”
Oftentimes, we don’t realize the potential destruction our speech can cause. Why is that? It seems to me that, in our pride, we consider ourselves, our opinions, our perspectives, and our value in relationships as higher than those around us. But that is the opposite of what Christ has called us to. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Let us follow Jesus and his example by considering others as more significant than ourselves. We can show value for people by listening more than we speak, thinking of our responses before sending them, and using all our words to glorify God.
Prayer for today: God, give us the patience and restraint we need to protect people from our words. Continue to reform the state of our minds so as to emulate Christ rather than foolishness. Thank you for your Spirit, who guides and compels us toward good speech and action. Amen.