Quick and Slow
Pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight….
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 (James 1:19-20).
While these words have meaning and benefit in our relationship with others, I hear God prompting me to be quick to listen to his voice through His word….to be eager to hear, believing that all is profitable to me and glorifies God. This speaks of a hunger that drives me to Scripture for satisfaction.
Secondly, I believe that God wants me to weigh my words, to consider silence above talk, and to make every word useful to those who hear. Being slow to speak will often curb my words altogether, and that is usually a good thing. Ephesians 4:29 are great words to live by: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Thirdly, we are told to be slow to become angry, and here we are given an explanation. Anger flares when we don’t get our way, or things don’t go the way we think they’re suppose to, or people don’t meet our expectations. Anger is rooted in pride….my way, my plans, my desires. And pride never works in our favor. It cannot grow in us Christlikeness...because His way is humility. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).
I believe that God is encouraging the first two: be quick to listen and slow to speak…to help us with the third…being slow to become angry. When we take time to weigh what we hear, consider a bigger picture and others’ perspectives, and we limit our own tongues on the subject...we will restrain from anger.
Lord, give me the grace I need to listen with attention, to weigh my words and to control my anger.