Monday, August 20, 2012

Proverbs 25:8-10 An old saying

    do not bring hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
    if your neighbor puts you to shame?
If you take your neighbor to court,
    do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
    and the charge against you will stand.

Ever heard the saying, "Don't go off half-cocked"?

It originated in the days of flintlock guns, but I could swear that Solomon knew about it somehow!

History buffs (like those in our family) are sometimes fascinated as much by the sayings that originate in an era, as by the weaponry or accessories that inspire those sayings.  Flintlock guns were the type that needed to be loaded with powder for each time the user wished to shoot the weapon. A succession of steps needed to be followed, or the gun would not fire properly.

Half-cock was the position of the hammer, for priming and loading the gun. This was almost what we would think of today as a "safety," since the gun would not fire from the half cocked position. Only after the steps had been followed, and the hammer pulled back into fully cocked position, could the gun fire . . . the hammer with the small piece of flint would fall, strike the steel, create a spark, ignite the powder, and cause the gun to fire.

Some of us may have heard this expression in modern day life, for it has come to mean "to take a premature or ill-prepared action." Like the neighbor in Solomon's proverb, we may sometimes rush to accuse someone, or take an action for which we've not properly prepared. We may talk to one neighbor and in so doing, let slip a confidence that another neighbor shared with us . . . as Solomon says, that can shame us before our friends.

Proper examination of the facts, and of all sides of an issue, may prevent us from embarrassment and shame, along with preserving the relationships we value with our family and friends. If we will "look before we leap" (I'm just full of these old sayings today!) we'll be much better off, and we'll be able to be an example to others, of a wise and knowledgeable friend.


Belinda said...

I sometimes find myself unintentionally saying something I should have kept to myself. Solomon knew what he was talking about for sure!!

Been trying to curb that little defect...hard...hard.

CATachresis said...

Even at my great age, it is something I still do! Engage brain before opening mouth!!