A First Book of Daily Readings
by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sourced from the OPC website
Festina lente (hasten slowly)
Here is a man [Psalm 73] suddenly tempted, tempted to say something, or… to do something. The force of the temptation is so great that he is almost thrown off his balance. He is on the point of falling to the temptation, and he tells us what it was that saved him. Here it is: ‘If I say”—he was on the point of saying something—”‘If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend….’ What does he do? What is his method?
The first thing he does is to take himself in hand…. He just kept himself from saying what was on the tip of his tongue. It was there, but he did not say it. Now this is tremendously important. The Psalmist realized the importance of never speaking hurriedly, of never speaking on an impulse…. It is a perfectly good point for a man to make who is not a Christian at all …. there are things which we have to do in connection with this spiritual discipline that at first sight do not seem to be particularly Christian. But if they hold you, use them.
There are many people who are so anxious to be always on the mountain top in a spiritual sense that for that very reason they often find themselves falling down into the valley.
They disregard these ordinary methods. They do not avoid doing what the man who wrote Psalm 116 had done…. He makes a very honest confession. He says, “I said in my haste, All men are liars.”
He said that in his haste, and that was the mistake. This man in Psalm 73 had discovered, even when he was on the point of falling, the importance of not saying anything in haste. It is wrong for a Christian to say or do anything in haste . . . [see James 1:19]… is it not obvious that if only we all implemented this particular principle then life would be much more harmonious?… What a lot of pinpricks and irritations, what a lot of quarreling and backbiting and unhappiness would be avoided in every realm of life, if only we all heeded this injunction !… Stop and think. If you can do nothing else, stop!
Faith on Trial, pp. 24-5
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
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