James 1:19-20 - My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Keep Reading...
Listening is not a highly valued activity in our day. Those who simply listen lose out. Others who dominate with words typically win. Our world is full of words, spoken and non-spoken. It is into this world that God speaks his truth.
Be quick to listen. The command here is not to listen more. It is to be quick to listen. Our front foot should be one of listening. Our default should be to listen rather than speak. This will take some reprogramming by consistent, simple choices.
Listening is not just holding our tongue. It is an intentional act to really hear what another person is saying. This takes focus. When we listen in this way, we show honor and respect to the other person. This brings about the "righteous life that God desires."
God is the one that we really need to listen to. When we fill our mouths and minds with our own words, we miss out on the most important words for our lives. We miss out on the Word made flesh. John 1:14 Listening to the right voice is vital for living in a pleasing way to God. Do we have space in our lives to tune into his words?
Anger most often flows with unbridled speech. A focus on listening and slowing down our word-rate will result in self-control. This will make a big impact in the area of anger. When we think we have a right to set someone straight with our words, we often step outside of living in right relationship with God. Our highest value should be in pleasing God, not in being right.
Slow down your impulse to speak and your impulse toward anger. Do this by intentionally choosing to listen. Remember, God is always speaking. But, are we listening?
Missionary. Teacher. Worship Leader. Deeply desiring to make God's Word accessible and understandable to all. May you be transformed as God's Word fills your life.