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TAMING THE TONGUE
Sometimes It’s Good to Be Slow: Hasty Words
Victor M. Eskew
A. Sometimes it is good to be quick.
1. An Olympian athlete running the 100 meter dash
2. A delivery driver for FedEx or UPS
3. A nurse or surgeon in the ER
B. Sometimes it is good to be slow.
1. There are times when we need to be slow with our words.
2. This is not always easy to do. In fact, it is easier for most to be hasty in their words.
C. In this lesson, we will be looking at the subject: “Sometimes It’s Good to Be Slow: Hasty Words.”
I. THE BIBLE’S ADMONITIONS
A. Proverbs 29:20
Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
B. Ecclesiastes 5:2
Be not rash with my mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few.
C. James 1:19
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
II. WHEN DO WE SPEAK TOO HASTILY?
A. To shut someone up
1. We do not want to hear what another person has to say.
2. In order to shut them up, we speak hastily.
a. I know.
b. I don’t want to know.
c. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
d. No one wants to listen to you.
B. To seem knowledgeable about a subject.
1. Someone mentions a topic and we believe we have to let them know how much we know about the subject.
2. Sadly, sometimes our words display how little we really do know.
3. Quote: Keep your mouth shut and let others “think” you a fool. Open your mouth and “prove” you are a fool.
C. To answer someone who confronts us or holds us accountable.
1. We do not like to be held accountable by others. When they confront us, we often quickly pop off to defend ourselves.
2. Peter (Matt. 26:31-33)
Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
D. Answering instead of listening
1. Sometimes we do not listen at all. We just talk.
2. Sometimes we listen until we know what a person is going to say, then we talk, often interrupting them.
E. When we use humor to make fun of another person
F. When we do not have all the facts
1. We can make conclusions without all the facts?
2. We can have opinions about something without all the facts?
G. Anger towards another person
1. Proverbs 14:17
He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly…
2. Proverbs 14:29
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
H. Angers towards the Word of God (James 1:18-19)
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
I. In order to set boundaries with another person
a. You are right; they are wrong
b. You are the superior; they are the inferior
c. You are knowledgeable; they are ignorant
J. Hasty to make commitments to others
III. PROBLEMS THAT COME FROM HASTY WORDS
A. Bad words
B. False accusations
C. Dissolved relationships
D. Ruin fun times (spilled milk)
E. Cease being Christ-like
F. Violate the laws of kindness and courtesy
G. Make commitments we cannot honor
H. Make ourselves out to be fools (Eccl. 53b)
…and a fool’s voice is known by a multitude of words.
I. Commit sin (Prov. 10:19)
In a multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
IV. WAYS TO TAME THE HASTY TONGUE
A. Learn to be quiet (Prov. 29:11).
A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
B. Learn to think before you speak.
1. “Every word, as well as act, can only be matured by being thought out, and thought over” (e-sword, K&D).
2. Stick with the facts, not assumptions or false projections.
C. Learn to go with the flow (Jesus, John 6:1-5).
After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lift up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
D. When we cannot change a situation, we need to develop an “acceptance with joy” attitude.
A. One has said: “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.”
B. Remember: Words, once they are spoken, can never be retrieved.
C. There are only a few words, which, if left unspoken, will be regretted (i.e., “I love you,” and “I am sorry”).