The heart of the righteous studieth to answer. – Proverbs 15:28

Human tendencies are universal, and one such tendency is to speak before thinking. Pride is often at the root of words spoken without forethought, as in the case of King Darius. Pride caused him to agree hastily to the law that put Daniel in the lion’s den. Another problem is anger, which issues into wrong words. Angry words helped to put Jesus on the cross. But He patiently endured the suffering that resulted, leaving us an example to follow. We must have Christ within to guard and control our tongue.

Hasty words are often the cause of great regret. “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly” (Proverbs 14:17). Hasty words sometimes leave permanent scars and cause damaged relationships that take years to rebuild. But pleasant words are soothing and up-building. “A soft word turneth away wrath.”

Jesus spoke many kind words to those who followed Him. He even spoke kindly to a woman taken in adultery. Hopefully all of us have experienced kind words from our families and friends. I remember my mother as one who often spoke soft, kind words in times of trouble. How soothing and calming those words were!

We do well to be wise and to study before giving answers. How much sorrow could be avoided if we always chose our words carefully! Consider too that “a whisper separateth chief friends” (Proverbs 16:28). Rather than talking about our brother’s faults to others, let us approach him directly as Jesus taught in Matthew 18:15. Many problems could be quickly solved and peace could be restored to many situations if we always heeded this instruction.

The scripture is given for our profit, and its instructions are not in vain. Have you spoken kind, well-planned words today?

Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.– James 1:19

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