"Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." James 1:19 (NIV)
I’ve had that verse hung throughout my house, indicating the importance I’ve felt in “eating those words”, and digesting them. Neither of which I’d done, successfully. In fact, I’d recently discovered how good I was at becoming angry, quickly.
The day came when the tables were turned and I was involved in a conversation with someone who, like myself, was quick to become angry. Throughout the conversation I was thinking about how I really just needed this person to listen to what I was saying. Instead of listening to me, this person spoke over me with great anger.
Then I had the “Ah-Ha” moment in which I realized the importance of James 1:19 and how ridiculous I sound when I’m acting in opposition to it. I was embarrassed that I had allowed my ego to override what was written in my User’s Manual.
Be quick to listen: I need to value the thoughts of others more than my own. I need to stop neglecting myself from the wonder of learning from others. I’m not always right and by listening, my perspectives can be bettered.
Slow to speak: by slowing down, I change from being a reactive person to a processing and praying person. What wonderful changes could be made if I really only spoke after seeking wisdom from the Creator?
Slow to become angry: Once I remove myself from the equation, I can refocus on the needs of others and how I can best serve them.
How much better would relationships be if we listened, prayed and served?
Father, Help us be quick to listen, slow to speak and even slower to become angry. Amen.