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“Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” (Proverbs 29:20 NIV)

People who speak in haste have less hope than a fool.

The problem with speaking in haste is the connection between mouth and brain.  Emotions connect to our mouth much faster than thoughts do. If our mouth was a computer, it needs electricity to operate.  Our feelings are electricity; we’re emotional beings.  In other words, we’re always feeling something at some level.  Therefore, our first reaction is emotional.   Just like an “instant connection” takes a moment to connect with our device of choice, our minds take a moment to catch up with our emotions.  By the time they are in sync, the emotions can do some massive damage, sometimes unrepairable.  Hence, less hope for someone who speaks in haste than a fool.

Unfortunately, I can not count the number of times I’ve spoken in haste.  Gratefully, the older I get, the less I do.  Marriage has helped me learn to stop and think before speaking.  My biggest regrets in life are emotional moments when I said hurtful things to my husband.  The pain I’ve caused him with careless words, I can never take back.  However, once or twice of causing the person you love most in the world pain, you learn not to let emotions rule the mouth.

You have control.

Emotions are controllable; you don’t have to succumb to their wicked ways.  Feelings lie all the time. Just because we “feel” something doesn’t mean it’s true.  One of my favorite books, Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell, discusses how we trust our instincts more than the evidence suggests we should.  In other words, we do not see the truth of the situation because we’re relying on our emotions.

For instance, “feelings” try to make me think when someone doesn’t respond to a text, they’re mad at me.  Sometimes they are, but the majority of the time, they’re just busy living their life.  For logic to take control, I have to recognize I’m thinking out of emotion.  How people control their feelings differ.  For me, I remind myself, the world doesn’t revolve around me. People aren’t at my beck and call.  When they have time, they’ll respond.  Until then, let it go—all things in God’s time (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV).

Give your brain time to connect to your mouth.  Knowing the first reaction is emotional, resolve not to react immediately.  Devise a plan to allow yourself to process what is happening in the moment.  For me, if I’m becoming overly emotional, I try to walk away.  Taking deep breaths helps refocus the mind. Find a way that works for you.

Take time to process.  Don’t speak hastily.

Question of the Day:

Who do you struggle not speaking hastily too?

Further Reading: Amos 1-3 NIV, Revelation 2:1-17 NIV, Psalm 129:1-8 NIV, Proverbs 29:19-20 NIV

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