Ecclesiastes 5:2 – Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. (NIV)
I remember an old movie starring Ronald Reagan, Patricia Neal, and Richard Todd called "The Hasty Heart". It's all about a group of wounded soldiers during World War II who are recovering in an army hospital in Asia. Todd plays a wee grumpy Scotsman, who is self-opinionated and cantankerous, whose ways and words sting the other soldiers and the nursing staff at the hospital. They eventually want nothing to do with him and shun him completely. It's only when they discover that Todd is suffering from a terminal illness that they begin to show compassion, mercy, and patience to him.
Hasty hearts create hasty words. Today, we may think and say things that may hurt other people, or we may be at the other end of someone else's bitter remarks. Whatever the situation, there's usually an unspoken reason, an unworded problem, or unexpressed anxiety behind those types of behaviour. Perhaps if we were to walk in one another's shoes we would be more understanding, patient, and gracious. After all, isn't that exactly what we are instructed to do in today's Scripture?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep us free from speaking bitter words through haste or making rash decisions through impatience. Help us to learn to cultivate a peaceful, patient, and tolerant spirit that will honour You and attract other people to Your kingdom. In Your holy name we pray. Amen.