Read James 1:19-21
I am not proud of it, but it is true about me. It seems that as I get older, the length of my fuse gets shorter. My impatience seems more pronounced. After all, things obvious to me ought to be obvious to others, right? Other people should think the way I do, right? I know… as I mature in Christ, the whole age/fuse ratio should be working in the opposite direction. But it doesn’t seem to be. As a result, this is an area where I have to be very intentionally sensitive to the instruction God gives.
Talk about practical instruction! Look at verse 19 again: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” God’s plan for my increasing age and decreasing fuse length is simple. His plan for how you process and use words is clear:
Do lots of listening – We need to listen; I mean, really listen! We dare not start to formulate our response while the other person is still talking. We must be attentive to what others are saying.
Allow for a “l o n g e r p a u s e” – We have to watch that we don’t react so quickly. Take time to process. Think before you speak.
Give a Spirit-filled response – After weighing what was said and contemplating how to respond, we are to speak words that please Jesus, not ones filled with impatience or anger.
Allow for a “l o n g e r p a u s e”
So, today’s challenge is simple but difficult at the same time. It sounds easy enough, but it will be challenging to change our natural patterns of selective listening and quick, perhaps even unfiltered talking. Here it is: Pause and listen! Think before you speak. All day, allow time before you reply to others!