Monday, May 15, 2017

Quick to Listen - Slow to Speak - Slow to Anger - James 1:19

The book of James is filled with practical teachings. These truths challenge us, and they provide a standard to measure our lives.

James 1:19 is a good example: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry"

We each know someone who does not listen well. We know someone who talks too much. And we know someone who easily gets angry. These things are easy to spot in others, but completely miss seeing in ourselves.

James holds up the value of listening. A good listener genuinely cares about others and wants to hear what others say. A good listener asks questions and focuses on the answers. A good listener is more concerned about others than themselves. A good listener learns and gains wisdom. Let’s be quick to listen.

James holds up the value of being slow to speak. Speaking too quickly leads to comments we will regret later. Speaking too quickly shows a heart focused on our self, our opinions, and our wisdom. Speaking too quickly often is a sign of arrogance. Speaking too quickly means we are not listening. Let’s be slow to speak.

James holds up the value of being slow to anger. Being slow to anger means we show patience and self-control. Being quick to anger leads to harsh comments and mean actions. Being quick to anger harms those around us. Being quick to anger leads to sin and mistakes we wish we could go back and change. Let’s be slow to anger.

The book of James is practical and up in our face. These truths force us to consider ourselves and our lives. Today consider your listening, speaking, and tendencies toward anger. How are you doing? How can you change?

Thankfully, as Christians, we do not walk out our faith on our own. The Holy Spirit enables us to walk out the Christian life. When we see areas for change, the first step is repentance and the second is crying out to the Holy Spirit to enable us to change.

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