Psalm 31:22, “I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.”
How easy it is to say things in haste! We spout off before we think. And usually when we speak hastily it is out of reaction. We often don’t even believe the words we say! But sad to say, we have said them, and words have power! They have power to hurt our husband and hurt our children. Charles Spurgeon says, “Hasty words are but for a moment on the tongue, but they often lie for years on the conscience.”
I remember with shame an incident that happened in the early days of our marriage. I felt hurt by words my husband spoke to me and hastily retorted, “You should have married someone else!” Fortunately I have a husband who doesn’t let things go uncovered. He came to me a little while later and said, “Do you believe in the power of words?” “Yes,” I muttered. “Well, you better take back what you said,” he stated firmly. I realized he was right and I had to retract and confess my hasty words.
Hasty words are often words of doubt because we have not given time for faith to grow or to wait for God to move. We often have to wait for God. David cries out that he is cut off from the Lord, but he soon finds that they were hasty words as God had heard his cry all along. We must give God time to answer. His timing and His way is always the best way.
I cringe when I hear folk speaking derogatively against the Lord because things are not going the way they want. Again Spurgeon says, “Unbelief will have a corner of the heart of the firmest believer, and out of that corner it will vent many spiteful things against the Lord if the course of providence be not quite so smooth as nature might desire. Forever be such dark suspicions banished from our minds.”
Proverbs 29:20 is also a challenging Scripture, “Seest thou a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than him.”
And Ecclesiastes 5:2, “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.” How true it is that the more words we speak the more opportunity to sin. (Read Proverbs 10:19; 17:28)
So, how do we stop these hasty words? James 1:19 says, “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Yes, we want to be “slow to speak” but how do we do it? I believe we have to get into the habit of doing it. Each time that someone (especially husband or children) rubs you up the wrong way, shut your mouth. Wait before you speak. If you can’t think of anything positive to say, don’t say anything. That’s what Jesus did. When they accused him, He answered nothing. He didn’t even open his mouth. (Matthew 27:13-14) Is that the hardest thing you’ve ever tried to do? You can do it if you will to do it. And especially as you pray about it and ask the Lord to help you.
Yes, you will fail. But keep working on making it a habit of your life. Some people say it takes 30 days to break a habit. Some say it takes 21 days to establish a habit. However, some habits may take a lot longer. Never despair. Keep trying and keep looking to the Lord who is your source. He lives in you and He is full of self control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Continually ask the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and your tongue. He will work His grace in you.
Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence: for out of it are the issues of life.”
“Lord, please help me not to be hasty in my words. Help me to trust you in each situation rather than reacting out of my emotions. Amen.”
My words determine the course of my life and my family.
Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week. If you are printing this devotion and need it to be smaller, highlight and change to a smaller font.