I was reading in James last night and camped out on James 1:19-20
Know this, everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
I am slow to anger, but the “slow to speak” continues to plague me. I have a habit of blurting out things before I think about what I’m saying. When my wife or grand daughters do or say something I don’t like or agree with, I’m quick to spew out my two cents. Many times I wind up apologizing or correcting myself. And often my tone of voice causes further hard feelings with them.
When I lived in Montgomery, Alabama a local newsman used to end each of his news casts with this quote from Omar Khayyam:
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Translation for me: Think before you speak. You can never regret a word you don’t speak.
In Luke 6, Jesus teaches us
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
I don’t have evil in my heart. I have love in my heart. I have Jesus in my heart.
Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29,
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
I miss the boat on that one more than I care to admit.
So, “Think Before You Speak” becomes my challenge now. My deepest, heartfelt desire is to become “the good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good.”