Quick To Be Slow
Imagine all your words, written and spoken, or even though, just floating in space and anyone can see them, or read them, or download them, and then use them against you.
For the early church and beyond, for those who have read or heard the words of James, and perhaps more importantly for us today, the words of James 1.19 are to be heeded.
I am discovering that my default is often to defend myself – protect myself – it seems like second nature. Sometimes that is a good default button. It’s why I duck and cover when a bee flies around my head. However, in order to have healthy conversations, even uncomfortable conversations, and critical conversations, my default needs to be leaning fully into what the other person is saying, listening to their perspective, hear their story, and trust that God will protect and guard my heart, soul and mind. I also need to ask God to be reflected in my physical position, the look on my face, my posture, for my physical presentation can often speak louder than words.
What we need today in the church, in the family, in relationships in the community is a greater ability and discipline to listen before we react or respond. And, when I say listen, I mean to be sure we understand what the other person is saying, why they are saying it, where it comes from, and even validate what they are expressing, whether or not we can fully agree with them. We may not agree with them, but it doesn’t mean that what they are sharing, what they are feeling, what they are expressing is not valid: it is their perspective, their story, their experience, and yes, their opinion. PEOPLE WANT TO BE HEARD.
We may have to agree to disagree – but we also make room for grace and peace and mercy and love in the middle of it all – otherwise the damage can be irreversible.
Let us hear their story – Let us listen to their side of things.
Let us be QUICK TO LISTEN, SLOW TO SPEAK
AND SLOW TO ANGER.
I so agree Bill, during this time with all thatâs happening we really need to listen to each other!
Amen. This is something I have to be careful of. I try to use think. T is it true, H is it hurtful, I is it interesting, N is it necessary, K is it kind.
Jesus was always asking questions and then listening... seeing to the heart.
Such wise words pastor Bill. With such inflammatory situations in our town, state, and the United States, our first reactions to what is going on would help if we could Control our reactions. For me itâs hard to listen when I let my emotions control me. How will anyone succeed at listening if we canât first control our mind and emotions? We hear something, react to it, and then Spew it. A challenge for all of us to control our thoughts and emotions.