Fools rush in #5. “Too Quick to Speak.”

Fools rush in #5. “Too Quick to Speak.”

I have seen a few books called, “I wish I’d said that!” In fact, I read one years ago. It was a series of autobiographical stories told by a preacher whose ministry went back into the early part of the 1900s. His was a light-hearted look at his life as a preacher who took the gospel wherever it was needed. Reading between the lines, it most certainly was a time of great sacrifice for him and his fellow preachers. I guess every preacher collects the wisdom of the wise along the way and thinks: “I wish I’d said that!”

However, if you asked me to write down the things that I wish I’d NEVER said, the first thing I would do is respectfully decline your offer. Being silly enough to have said them the first time is enough for me.

We all have that list of things we regret having said. But pity the soul who believes themselves to have never put a foot wrong. James assures us that there is no one without fault when it comes to speaking out of turn. He says:

“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check” (James 3:2).

You have to love James’ style—every line is a parable. The one who grasps the heavenly meaning acknowledges that they usually fail to control both tongue and body, but everyone else just thanks him for reminding them that they’re perfect.

Collecting the wisdom of the wise along the way is a very good way to assure that our words are always welcome.

Although, when we are in doubt, we can always fall back upon these wise words:

“Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;

with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28).

“I wish I had done that!”

John Staiger


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