My father was a talented carpenter and I’m thankful for the woodworking skills he passed down to me. One day he was helping me cut a beautiful 100-year-old oak beam to make a mantel for my fireplace. I measured the wood and got ready to make the cut.
Just by watching me, he knew that I was about to cut the beam in the wrong place. He stopped me and said, “once you cut the wood you can never take the cut back, so always make sure you are cutting in the right spot.” I realized he was telling me I was about to cut in the wrong place. I measured again and yep, the first measurement was wrong.
My Dad had a way of wrapping short truthful statements up with wisdom and advice…Dad had his own proverbs. When it came to making sure you cut the wood in the right place his proverb was; “measure twice-cut once.” I have found many applications for this particular proverb through-out my life.
Dad’s lesson can be applied to how we talk with each other…especially those we love. How many times have you said something hurtful that you wish you hadn’t said? Or do you even think about it before you say it. Once something is said, the words can never be taken back. Yes, we can apologize, but taking words back is like un-ringing a bell…just can’t do it.
So today, we all make comments we wish we could just rewind the tape…have a do-over. Instead, develop the discipline of Decision-making, where thinking is a most vital component. In this instance, try to “think twice and speak once.” A few moments invested in thought will save many moments of guilt, shame, and hustling for remedy the damage.
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Dear Father God, I confess, Father, that I have been guilty of using wrong, harsh words with others. I have misused the gift You have given me of a quick mind. I pray, Lord, that You will fill me with your Holy Spirit…and that I give Your Spirit time to respond as a speak and write. Help me be quick to listen, disciplined to think, and slow to speak…and let me see Your message in everything. I pray in the name of the one You sent to teach me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,