“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20.
Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 29-31, and James 1.
So easy. Yet so hard for me to live out.
Notice the pace; quick and slow.
How often do I mess up the order? I get indigestion by what you say and then give you indigestion by what I say.
Food is supposed to be eaten slowly. If I gobble, I will get indigestion. If I would listen carefully I would understand better. I would, therefore, be able to react to what you say in a Godly fashion.
Instead I hear trigger words or phrases and I am into a reaction mode even before you’ve finished speaking. My response is seldom a Godly one.
When I get off to a bad start, by not carefully listening, the result will often be anger. I may get angry or my response may produce anger. Not good either way!
James states the obvious when he declares that anger is not Godly.
My concern is my insistence on producing anger or getting angry. Poor listening skills as well as poor reacting skills are the culprits needing serious improvements.
I must start each day aligned with God. I must go through the day constantly reminding myself of my union with Him. I cannot function without this. My Godliness comes unraveled in a hurry when I put any trust in my own listening/reacting abilities.
“Lord, forgive me for my poor listening and my poor reacting. I blame my disconnectedness from You as the problem. I am incapable of pleasing You apart from You. It shows up so often in interactions at home. I get it wrong so often and it pains me in review. I desperately need You all day long. I cling to You, Father.”
How Godly are your listening and reacting skills?