Regarding Scripture: Proverbs 6.1-5
How many times, hopefully not too many, have you been in a conversation with someone, and during that conversation you utter words you later regret?
After uttering those words, you think to yourself, “If I could just take back the things I said, it would be better.” Unfortunately, we cannot ever take back our misspoken words, but we can make things better.
“How can we make things better?” you may ask. The words of Solomon, recorded for us in Proverbs 6.1-5 provide the way to make things better.
Through inspiration, Solomon tells the one who misspoke to be humble, not to sleep, neither rest, and to make like a roe (a gazelle-ESV) and as a bird who escapes the hunter.
Dictionary.com says that a gazelle is “noted for graceful movements” and wikipedia.org states that gazelles “are known as swift animals.”
Graceful, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “characterized by elegance or beauty of form, manner, movement or speech.”
Swift, as defined by Dictionary.com, has two applications for us, “moving with great speed [as] a swift ship” but also “performed quickly, or without delay [as in] a swift decision”.
This proverb does not allow us to misspeak, recognize the misspoken words and then do nothing but regret having spoken those words. To the contrary, this proverb tells us to act.
When we are snared by our words, we need to be elegant and have beautiful form to move without delay and speak to the one who heard our ensnaring words.
Why are we elegant & beautiful?
Because we demonstrate two things: humility and resolve.
Humility – because we recognize our error.
Resolve – because we show urgency & necessity to repair that which is broken because we cannot sleep and/or even mildly rest until the situation is resolved.
Brethren, the rhyme of years is “stick and stones, may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The only thing this rhyme gives is false hope, because words do hurt. Words spoken by others have hurt us, and our words have hurt others. Worse yet, the closest of relationships can be and unfortunately are destroyed by misspoken words.
We cannot change what others have said to us; and that hurt may remain. But what does not have to remain is the hurt we may have caused to others. Do you have someone that you need to go speak with, although days, months or even years have gone by? I urge us all to live this proverb and may we truly maintain and repair our relationships.
First Published: October 15, 2006
Comments or Questions send an email to Raymond Harris