I tried to find another verse, so I wouldn’t have to talk about this one. 🙂
Do you see a man hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
I’ve been “witty” most of my life. Some of you that know me would replace that with “smart aleck,” or coarser variations. LOL And of course, there’s sarcasm.
Words and responses come to mind easily for me. Sometimes, that’s helpful. Having responses ready is handy in sales situations, for instance – but you still have to be careful to truly listen, and not simply listen for a cue for the next part of your sales pitch.
For most of my life, though, the stuff that came out of my mouth was more likely to tear down than build up. There have been times that I’ve tried to stop, but it didn’t last very long.
A lot of people say it’s hopeless to even try, citing James 3:8 – “But no man can tame the tongue.” In fact, most of that chapter seems to reinforce the idea.
(The near-universal problem with rash words lends credence to the Kingdom principle that we can create or destroy with our words. On our own, we certainly tend toward destruction.)
But let’s look at the last two verses:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
We’re asking for wisdom for every aspect of our lives, right? Good news – with that comes the ability to tame the tongue!
And there’s a guideline for those of us than need it – be peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, and full of mercy. That means we deliberately decide not to “win” a contest of wits or words, when the next salvo would be something unkind or coarse. It means letting the other person think they’ve “won,” sometimes.
More good news – every time we catch ourselves and stop before we say something worse, the fruit of righteousness is sown and we make peace.
Rather than the quick-witted guy, I’d prefer to be known as the guy who sows the fruit of righteousness. How about you?