“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20).
Quick to listen. The KJV translation says “swift to hear.” Either way, the meaning is clear.
When we’re NOT quick to listen to God or to the concerns of others, we’re more likely to barge forward, flapping our gums in an uncaring way from a place of misunderstanding.
The result can be the “human anger” that “does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (Clearly not good.)
Have you ever squeezed some toothpaste out of the tube and then tried to put it back in? It’s pretty much impossible, isn’t it? That’s what it’s like when we try to rewind our regrettable words and stuff them back into our mouths. Pretty much impossible!
Words have power—for good, or for ill.
And the people around you are affected by your words—for good, or for ill.
So before we speak, and before we say ungodly or hurtful things we’ll later regret, and before we fast forward to the anger that displeases God…
Be quick to listen.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Have you downloaded Westminster Church’s new app yet? (That’s the church where I pastor.) It has videos, resources, pictures and even a prayer wall! Click here to learn more.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.