Hasty, Prov 21:5


In general, a person who is hasty is a person who does things too quickly and with too little thought.  He can be rash [incautious], impetuous [rushing] or impulsive [acting on impulse].  Now, haste is not always a bad thing.  When you have clear direction from the Lord on a matter, he doesn’t want you to delay.  We aren’t discussing instances of haste like that today.  The Bible talks about several negative occasions of haste that we will study.

Hasty decisions – Prov 21:5 – You have heard the old adage, “Haste makes waste.”  Diligent people think matters over before they decide.  And because of their diligent thought process, their decisions usually prosper.  When you don’t think through a matter before you decide, you usually come up short or wanting.  So, settle down and carefully weigh your decisions.  Give God time to speak to you through the scriptures, through preaching and through godly counsel.  “He that hasteth with his feet sinneth,” [Prov 19:2].

Hasty riches – Prov 20:21 – You can come into a windfall of wealth and before you know it all of the money is gone.  About 70% of lottery winners and recipients of big windfalls go broke within a few years of getting the money.  Prov 13:11 says, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”  Now, an inheritance is not vain; some parents lay up for their children [2 Cor 12:14] and “house and riches are the inheritance of fathers,” [Prov 19:14].  But an inheritance is vain if the recipient blows it all in haste, like the prodigal son did.  A person who builds his wealth through labor generally appreciates it more and generally hangs on to it longer because he knows how hard he had to work to save it.

Hasty spirit – Prov 14:29 – A hasty spirit is one of the underlying problems with a bad temper and a rash tongue.  We say about a man that has a hasty spirit, “He is a man with a short fuse.”  His mouth and his temper keep him in trouble.  He is often characterized in Proverbs as a fool [Prov 18:6-7].  He’s not like men with understanding and discretion [Prov 17:27-28; 19:11].  If you have a hasty spirit or a short fuse, you need to deal with yourself, not others.  You’ve got your work cut out for you, but it’s worth it [Prov 16:32].

Hasty marriage – Prov 19:14; Matt 19:6 – “a prudent wife is from the Lord.”  Young men and women these days are very hasty when it comes to picking a life mate.  Most of them are not thinking past the honeymoon.  Having counseled a few couples over the past 3 decades, I have discovered an interesting phenomenon.  Most of the expectations you have for yourself are identical to the expectations that your spouse has for you [there are a few exceptions, of course].  The implication is that you don’t have to convince your spouse to become what you want him or her to be; you just need to be what you expect yourself to be.  And that takes time.  Don’t marry until you are the husband or the wife that God wants you to be.  And then let God join you to someone who will be the right match for you.

Hasty soul winning – Mk 4:16-17 – This is soul winning that is done by the soul winner and not by the Lord.  It is easier than you think for certain people to get others to pray “the prayer of salvation” with them.  In the Bible, there really is no such thing as “the prayer of salvation.”  The closest thing to it would be, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” [Lk 18:13].  We are to be witnesses and we are to live our lives as a testimony of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are to preach the gospel and we are to disciple those who receive the Lord as their Savior.  But the one who wins them is the Holy Spirit and the one who saves them is Jesus Christ and the thing that saves them is the word of God.  You and I are just the ambassadors; not the winners.  You need to learn to let the Holy Spirit and the word of God do their work in bringing souls to Christ.  We have seen far too many casualties caused by soul winners getting a decision to early.

Conclusion: get used to taking time to make good decisions.  If you receive some unexpected money, after you give the Lord his portion, take your time before you decide what to do with it.  If you are prone to “fly off the handle” like a loose axe head, reign in your spirit.  If you want to marry, become the spouse your supposed to be before you go looking for the spouse you want.  Next time you go “soul winning” take a step back from your high pressure sales technique and give God a chance to do something [the part he needs to do].