WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
James 1:19 (NLT2)
PEACEMAKERS LISTEN FIRST
A young fellow by the name of Sammy liked to hang out at Mom and Pop’s Grocery Store. Pop didn’t know what Sammy’s problem was, but the other boys would tease him all the time, calling him “Slow Sammy”, and punching him on the shoulder as they passed. To mock him for being slow, they would offer him a dime and a nickel, telling him he could have just one. They said he always took the nickel because it was bigger. One day after Sammy took the nickel, Pop pulled him to one side and said, “Son, don’t you know they’re making fun of you? They think you don’t know that the dime is worth more than the nickel. Are you really grabbing the nickel because it’s bigger, or what?” “No,” Sammy said, “but if I took the dime, they’d quit doing it!”
Sometimes it pays to be slow. In James 1:19, we learn we should be slow to speak and slow to get angry. The only time we need to be quick is when it comes to listening. The way we approach God and His word is the same way we should approach conflict. James calls his audience “dear brothers and sisters.” Even people who love each other will have conflict. And even people who love each other could benefit from listening first.
Can you think of a time recently when you would have benefited from taking a little more time to listen before you spoke? If there is a conflict in your life, share the frustration with God in prayer. And then be still and listen to what God says to you about that conflict.
“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”