About 35 years ago, I had a near-fatal careless moment. Riding a bike on the wrong side of the street, I took my eyes off the road for one split second--long enough for the driver of a car, focused on another car that had just passed, to pull out and hit me. I bounced across the street, breaking my knee and bruising my face enough that a molar on that side of my jaw died and needed a crown.
Words can be near fatal, too. Have you ever spoken in anger and wished you could pull the words back? I don't know many people who haven't--which doesn't make it any more right, does it?
Actions don't have to be life threatening to have life-long repercussions. The pleasure of a moment can leave a life-long bitter taste in not only your own heart but in others around you, too; people you love.
Things we do and say are like little rocks whose ripples touch every shore of a pond. It only takes one careless moment to let ugliness spew from your mouth or unwise actions ripple out and hurt those around you.
Jesus once said that it wasn't the things you put into your mouth that make you unclean, but the things that come out of your mouth.
If you can cultivate the practice of thinking and praying before you speak and act, others will develop a great deal more respect for you. It's a mark of maturity. Careless words spoken in haste aren't brave or just speaking your piece or putting someone in their place. Remember, blunt force injuries can kill, too.
I love that old adage: "Lord, make my words sweet just in case one day I have to eat them." That holds true for actions, too. "Lord, make my actions and words wise so that one day they won't poison all those whose lives I touch."