Monday, September 21, 2015


By Andrea Merrell 

Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;
it is wonderful to say the right thing 
at the right time. 
Proverbs 15:23 NLT

“Oh, no!” I gasped in horror as I stared at my computer screen. 

Panic began to rise as I frantically searched my Yahoo account for a way to retrieve the e-mail. I called a friend. “What can I do? I have to get that e-mail back!” 

Too late.  

My words had entered cyberspace, never to return. And that, as they say, was that.

You see, I had been working on a draft for several days, trying to present my thoughts and feelings in a logical, cohesive manner.  The e-mail was not ready. It still needed quite a bit of tweaking.  After a desperate prayer, a couple more phone calls, and a few minutes of trying to figure out how to fix my blunder, I gave up.  The damage was done. My only recourse was to follow it with another e-mail that began, “I know this sounds lame but . . . I hit the “send” button too soon and this is what I really meant . . .”

That little scenario reminds me of all the words I have spoken over the years that should never have left my lips . . . words not ready to be spoken by me, and not ready to be heard by the receiver. Too many of those words had poison tips that needed to be drained of their venom. Others were like bombs, needing to be defused. Still others simply required a little sanding, polishing, and a whole lot more thought.

Words are powerful and they are eternal.  Once they’re spoken, Tweeted, posted on Facebook, or sent into cyberspace, there’s no turning back.  That’s why it’s so important for us to think before we open our mouth and give consideration to the havoc we will wreak with words spoken (or written) in haste, frustration, and anger. “I didn’t mean it,” or “I take it back,” doesn’t mean much when the wounds have already been inflicted.

Avoiding such a faux pas takes effort on our part and a decision to do it God’s way instead of our way.  His Word tells us to use soft answers and pleasant words, making sure they are wholesome, edifying, and beneficial to the hearer.  Words are seeds, and we need to be careful and conscious of where and how we are planting them.  

We can give in to our flesh, or we can pray, Lord, put a guard over my mouth and let my words be sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.

(Photos courtesy of