Proverbs 29:20 (GW)Have you met a person who is quick to answer? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
The words “quick to answer” leapt off the page as I read Proverbs 29. Other translations use “speaks in haste” and “speak too quickly.” I had to immediately think about how many times I have allowed something to roll off my tongue before even thinking. Someone says something and an angry spark prompts my tongue to speak a snide response before my brain can even process what’s transpiring. I know I have…the split second the words are out of my mouth, my brain engages and I realize their impact…I may have just marred someone I care about because I failed to think before I spoke. UGH! The struggle is real.
The second part of verse 20 was a reminder for me of what God thinks about my impulsive responses. “There is more hope for a fool” than a man (or woman) who is hasty with his words.”
So am I the only one squirming on a hook here? Or have you found yourself in a similar situation?
God is not the author of our angry or hasty words. In fact in Ecclesiastes 5:2, Solomon (the wisest man in the world – 1 Kings 4:29-34) tell us to “let our words be few.” I also like the reminder found in James 1:19 – 21. The Message paraphrase says it best:
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
I don’t want to be considered a fool in God’s eyes. I want my words to have a positive impact on the people around me. More importantly, I want others to see and hear the love of the Savior every time I open my mouth.
Bottom line truth: My reckless words will NEVER show anyone Jesus.