James 1:19 – “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
There could be times when you have spoken quickly without thinking and have regretted about the mistakes later. Sometimes it could be because you did not listen properly and gave a wrong answer instead. King Solomon was blessed with wisdom and has written that a fool is better than a person who is hasty in his words (Prov. 29:20). There are people who give vows to God hastily to fulfil their needs. But when the time comes, they regret. Eccl. 5:2 says, “not to be rash with your mouth and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God, for God is in heaven and you on earth, so let your words be few.” Jephthah, the judge vowed a vow unto the Lord that if God delivered the Israelites from the hand of Ammonites, he would sacrifice whoever came out of his house first as a burnt offering (Judg. 11:30-40). Later, he regretted making that vow in haste, because his only daughter greeted him first as he came home after the war.
When you speak, let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt that would bring grace to the hearers (Col. 4:6). David’s servants asked Nabal to offer them some food during the sheep shearing time. David’s men had protected Nabal’s sheep in the wilderness. Instead, Nabal harshly answered and provoked David and his men to attack Nabal’s household (1 Samuel 25). Nabal’s wife, Abigail heard about her husband’s foolish attitude and rushed with food supplies to David and his men and sought his forgiveness. Her wisdom and timely answer saved her from being killed by David and his men. “A word spoken fitly is like apples of gold in a silver setting” (Prov. 25:11).
Do you answer rashly when you are angry? Jesus says in Matt. 5:22 – “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” Therefore, be wise and very careful when you speak, taming your tongue to bless people thus saving yourself from hell fire.