Have you ever heard the phone ring and believing you “know” who it is, you start to speak before hearing the person on the other end? I NEVER do that, but that happened to me a few weeks ago. It was pretty early in the morning still. I was sipping my morning cup of coffee and checking email. My husband had just been downstairs with me getting his coffee and had gone back upstairs. Within moments I heard my cell phone ring in the kitchen. Not many people have my cell phone number and those that do, don’t normally call early in the morning. So…… assuming it was my husband calling who had just gone back upstairs to shower and get ready for the day….. and also assuming that he was beginning his morning routine and then realizing there was no toilet paper up in the bathroom…… I picked up my ringing cell phone without checking to see who the call was from and bluntly said in my bass morning voice that hasn’t had enough coffee yet, “Let me guess, you need toilet paper!” On the other end I hear this polite little lady voice say, “Oh! Excuse me?! Hello? Hello?” My face was one of utter horror & shock! I had the phone down by my leg laughing at myself for having spoken so quickly like that! I was so mortified at what I had done, that I just quietly closed my cell phone, hoping she would think she had reached a wrong number. I had no idea who it was. Then I heard it ring again. This time I checked to see who the caller was. I didn’t recognize the number, so I didn’t answer it. They left a voice mail. I checked the voicemail later and it was one of our older missionary wives! She was also the one that had called earlier. We eventually made contact and had a good laugh over the whole incident. But let me tell you, I will never do that again!
Thankfully that incident was one we could all laugh over, but how many times have we opened our mouths in haste and spewed something out that was hurtful and we later regretted? Sadly, it is also usually a family member, those we love the most, that bears the brunt of our rashness. Sure you will make the thing right with the one you hurt and be extended forgiveness. But words cut like a knife and cuts leave scars. How much better it would be to just put a little thought behind our words before we speak them. If it’s not kind or helpful, just keep it to yourself.
“Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.” Proverbs 29:20
Oh how we need to set a watch before our mouths and really think before we speak.
“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14