by Rick Warren — January 3, 2020
“It’s smart to be patient” (Proverbs 14:29 CEV).
Today and tomorrow we’re going to look together at times when God wants you to slow down.
First, you should always move slowly when you don’t have all the facts. Our culture worships impulsiveness and spontaneity. It tells us that spur-of-the-moment, “gut” decisions are the right ones.
You’ve probably heard repeatedly to “follow your heart.” But the Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 KJV).
Feelings often lead us in the wrong direction. You need to rely on truth outside of yourself.
The Bible is clear about that: “What a shame—yes, how stupid!—to decide before knowing the facts!” (Proverbs 18:13 TLB).
So when you don’t yet have all the facts, slow down. Don’t rely on your gut, your heart, or your feelings. Take the time to look for objective truth outside of yourself.
Another time to move slowly is when you’re hurt, angry, or depressed. When we’re upset, we tend to react and retaliate rather than acting wisely.
James 1:19 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (NIV).
Do you see the rhythm in that verse? It says quick, slow, slow. If you’re quick to listen and slow to speak, you’ll automatically be slow to become angry. But if you’re slow to listen and quick to speak, you’ll be quick to become angry.
Proverbs 14:29 says, “Patience leads to abundant understanding, but impatience leads to stupid mistakes” (CEB).
Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking” (NLT). In other words, godly people put their minds in gear before their mouths.
Proverbs 15:18 tells you what to do instead: “Losing your temper causes a lot of trouble, but staying calm settles arguments” (CEV).
Sometimes you’re going to feel angry, hurt, or depressed. That’s just part of life. But the next time that happens, slow down. Proverbs 15:18 says, “Losing your temper causes a lot of trouble, but staying calm settles arguments” (CEV).
Don’t make quick decisions that you’re going to regret.
And the same is true when you don’t have all the facts. Instead of just “following your heart,” take the time to slow down and make a careful decision.
Remember: It’s smart to be patient.