Life is short and very precious. I am on an impromptu visit to the East Coast dealing with a spate of deaths in the family. Due to the weather my flight was cancelled. As I sit here working from home my dad and I are having sporadic conversation. He's lived a long life but one of the things he remembers is the words from the hymn below that he learned in Sunday School. The first time he mentioned this poem to me was about two years ago. At that time I wrote the entire text down, because I could not find it when I googled it. Today I googled it and found the actual text.
Prayer for Daily Grace- by John George Fleet
Words are things of little cost
Quickly spoken, quickly lost;
Witnesses at God’s right hand,
And their testimony bear
For us, or against us there.
Oh, how often ours have been
Idle words and words of sin!
Words of anger, scorn or pride
Or deceit, our faults to hide,
Envious tales,of strife unkind
Leaving bitter thoughts behind.
Grant us Lord from day to day,
Strength to watch and grace to pray:
May our lips, from sin kept free,
Love to speak and sing of thee
Till in heaven we learn to raise
Hymns of everlasting praise.
My dad learned this in Sunday School and these words, the words of the poem have stuck with him. It is the fact that words are precious, and once said they can't be unsaid. It may be why he appears quiet and tries to be so careful when he speaks. But he also acknowledged we've all made mistakes with our words.
Going forward, I'm sure I'll always hear his voice in my head saying, "Words are things of little cost, quickly spoken, quickly lost.." in that very strong Bajan accent.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 [NLT]
Are you careful with your words? Is there something you do that cautions you before you speak? If you were reckless with your words, what do you do to correct the situation?