Haste Makes Waste in the Bible

by Pamela Rose Williams · Print Print · Email Email

I have often heard the saying “Haste makes waste”. Now I know it to mean that if you rush a job you can be in danger of wasting time and materials because your hurry to complete it caused mistakes, thereby requiring the job to be done again. For example, when working with your hands to build something you should always measure twice and cut once. It takes more time to measure twice, but many times if you do not you will end up cutting again – wasting time and material. I also know that it was America’s Founding Father Benjamin Franklin that is quoted as saying “Haste makes waste”. Though it is often debated whether or not Mr. Franklin held to a Christian faith, historical documents prove that he believed the Scriptures to be of the utmost importance in all issues of life. For this reason, I believe that his quotation about haste making waste was born out of his knowledge of the Bible. Here is what I found about haste makes waste in the Bible.

Sometimes You Must Make Haste

Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s passover.

1 Samuel 21:8 And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.

2 Samuel 15:14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.

2 Chronicles 24:5 And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.

Zechariah 8:21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, And to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.

Matthew 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

Haste Not – Be Careful

Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Proverbs 25:8–10 Go not forth hastily to strive, Lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, When thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; And discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, And thine infamy turn not away.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1 Timothy 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

James 1:19–20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Consequences of Being Hasty

Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, It is folly and shame unto him.

Proverbs 21:5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; But of every one that is hasty only to want.

Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: But he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

Proverbs 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.

Final Thoughts

So even though the Bible teaches that sometimes we must make haste — it does not always contribute to waste. Waste comes when we neglect to be careful and do things before considering the consequences of our choice.

Here is something more that might interest you: What Does the Bible Say About Diligence?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version.

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