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Words Spoken in Haste

What dangerous fires of hatred are kindled by words spoken in haste! That’s why taking time to think about what we should say is so important. Restraint can bring peace to many an ugly situation, as is illustrated by this story: An old Englishman, known as Father Graham in his village, was greatly loved because of his positive influence. One day an angry young man who had just been badly insulted came to see Father Graham. As he explained the situation, he said he was on his way to demand an apology from the one who had wronged him. “My dear boy,” Father Graham said, “take a word of advice from an old man who loves peace. An insult is like mud; it will brush off better when it is dry. Wait a little, till he and you are both cool, and the problem will be easily solved. If you go now, you will only quarrel.” The young man heeded the wise advice, and soon he was able to go to the other person and resolve the issue.

How often the tongue pours fuel on a fire that would go out if left alone! Solomon said, “Do not be rash with your mouth,...let your words be few” (Eccl. 5:2). And hymn writer William Longstaff put it well when he wrote, “Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul; each thought and each motive beneath His control.”

Perhaps you have a problem with someone and have decided to “tell him off.” Why not wait? It’s easier to brush off mud when it’s dry. And pray for the one who offended you. It may dry the mud a little faster. -P.R.V.

Our Daily Bread, September 12