My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 NIV
I love to talk. I enjoy talking and conversing with others about my wonderful family, my job, activities at church, taking dance lessons with my husband and especially my opinions on the topics of life. Now, I wouldn’t say I speak constantly, but I definitely can carry a conversation. I have much to share and want others to hear all about my life and my opinions.
After one such conversation, my husband took me aside and quietly pointed out that my directness and my many words were offending the people I had been conversing with. Well, I became livid! Are you kidding me? I know how to speak without offending others!
However, I began to think about what he said and I started praying and talking to God about my words. My husband was right. God showed me I needed to change the way I communicate.
In the verse above, James states we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. I was doing the exact opposite. I was speaking but not listening. So, I asked Jesus to change me, and I started practicing using fewer words.
Wow! This verse is truly hard to execute, but now I listen and I am even purposeful in my conversations. I begin by focusing on the other person and their words, even looking at their eyes as they speak. I ask questions about their life and opinions, giving them time to share. By listening, I want them to know I care about them.
Now, I still love to talk, but I have seen how God has changed me. I truly have begun to listen quickly.
Digging Deeper |
Action Item |
Listen quickly, speak less!
Dear Jesus, You are the ultimate listener and the kindest speaker. Help me to listen more and speak less, as You do. Amen.
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