James 1:19 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”
Have you ever found yourself in a position where the only thing to do is shut up? You try talking and it only makes things worse. So you try being quiet and listening and that seems to do the trick. That was me yesterday as I dealt with preteen issues surrounding my daughter.
Bless her heart. She is an emotional roller coaster right now. I tried consoling her and encouraging her and explaining things to her and nothing worked. So I found that being quiet and letting her get it all out seemed to be exactly what she needed. After she got through the arm slinging, tears and loud voicing of her woes, we were able to pray and talk to God about it all and a moment of peace seemed to envelope us. I say moment because the tears started again because of the relief. Yep….
I don’t know about you, but I like to fix problems in the lives of those around me. I don’t like to see others I care about struggling. I want to fix it all. But sometimes, that’s not what I need to do. Sometimes I just need to not fix things. Jesus is who they need. Not me. And that’s a hard grasp to let go of.
James was reminding us of a vital truth in this verse – listen quickly, speak slowly and stay away from anger as much as possible. There are times when I get this truth way out of order. I neglect to engage my brain before speaking. I get mad at the drop of a hat. And listening to others? Well, I already know what they are going to say so why listen?
I know I’m not alone out there in this one. I see the statistics of divorce and crime. But I want to choose not to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. That means that I need to change my choices. I need to change my perspective. I need to change my habits. Listening needs to more of my repitoire than speaking and solving problems.
So as I go through today, I’m going to try to listen more and solve less often. I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing in His sight (Psalm 19:14).