Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker pf carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]. (James 1:19, Amplified Bible)
After this James might have easily said “any questions”? He certainly lays it out for us. When it comes to listening and responding we all could benefit from slowing it down a bit. Not be so quick to jump in after someone speaks, or so quick to have a response or even have a reaction following. Think of the disagreements that could be diffused, the tension we could avoid, the things we could clarify or bring peace and harmony if we did what James writes here. When thoughtfulness, carefulness and well-chosen words are part of our conversations and interactions then we have a better chance to experiencing a good, pleasing or godly outcome.
Maybe all or nearly all of us have had those experiences where we didn’t allow someone to complete their thought and jumped in too quickly and were off base with our response; thinking we knew where that person was going or what they were trying to say before they had a chance to finish. These humbling lessons can teach us what James meant in his letter. Slow down and listen all the way. Deliberately pause to let what is being said sink in, before responding
God is in favor of deliberate pauses, slow responses. Because he considers his love for us, his promise to forgive us, have mercy upon us, extend patience, and Jesus’ sacrifice for us, is the reason we experience so much of his grace instead of his holy ire. James words can help us cultivate the skill of deliberate pauses instead of being those who are reactionary and quick to jump to conclusions. Let’s Pray,
We’re thankful for this reminder Lord. We can all use such a reminder from time to time. Help us to do just as St. James has written here, become quick to listen and slow to speak. Amen
Reflection and questions for Soul-Tending:
How do the words from James 1:19, touch you today? Do they apply to you or others you know?
How will you incorporate them into your plan of soul-care?