James 1:19-20 NIV
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: 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 – Messsage
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage.
Place a high priority on the following. Let it be kept close to your heart and have impact on how you live. Be careful and be guarded about how you conduct yourselves. Listening before speaking is a good character to have. Be the kind of person who does not just act like you are listening, but is ready to listen with both your ears and your heart. As you listen remember that you don’t always have to speak. It is good to think about your words. Take your time putting your words together and only speak that which is Truth and Life. Then choose to be a person who is not easily angered. Someone who is not led by their emotions and frustrations, but by Truth. Our ungodly responses do not produce life, they do not lead us toward the things God has for us, but often produce the fruit of a life that does not please Him. Time to listen, release life, and be a person of true righteousness.
I find this verse full of life. I have been called a good listener by people but my heart is not always listening. I am realizing that if I am not really listening with my whole being I could be already making judgements on the things that I am hearing that are not correct. If I do that then often I end up speaking out something that is wrong, and the fruit of it is not life. God is wanting Freda to listen to him, and listen to those in my life who are sharing a part of their life with me. He is wanting me to not act like I already have the answered to all the problems in the world but to really heart and then only speak that which will be life transformational to them, or to a particular situation. The lack of listening, and being too quick to speak can produce anger that is not in line with righteousness. These are not the characteristics I want in my life. I want him.
How can I apply this? Today, in my interaction with people I am going to choose to be more intentional in hearing them. I will be more intentional in not speaking up so quickly, and even if something frustrates me, I will choose the way of righteousness over human response. If I do this one day at a time, it just might change how I conduct my life.