So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 NKJV
My mom has problems hearing well at times. Sometimes the barometric pressure causes problems with her hearing, or she’s been around too much loud noise that can cause her ears to close up. For example, recently she and my dad helped with Vacation Bible School and the music there was quite loud. The last day it was especially loud and after that her ears were ‘bad’ again.
The other day when we were having lunch together I was telling her about my writing for the FaithWriters’ challenges and that our new topic was concentration. She told me that when her ears aren’t good she really has to concentrate when someone is talking to her so that she knows what they’re saying. Sometimes though, she’ll get so drained from having to concentrate so hard that she just quits trying and only responds with platitudes (“oh,” “um-hmm,” “oh I see.”).
As I was thinking about our conversation later I thought about this verse in James. We’re told to be swift to hear and slow to speak and slow to wrath. Quick to hear… listen to God – concentrate on what He is saying to us. How much time do we spend listening to God? Are we too quick to speak, rather than being quick to hear? Do we possibly get angry when God tells us something we may not want to hear?
What would happen if we practiced being swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath? Would we, when God speaks to us, really hear what He’s saying?
Being quick to hear, indicates to me, a listening ear – putting our agenda aside to listen to God’s.
May our hearts be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, as we remember that the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God, whereas being swift to hear – listening to what He says and doing it – does.
Prayer: Father, teach me to have a listening heart – may I be willing to open my ears, so I am quick to hear your voice speaking to me. Help me be slow to speak and slow to wrath as I consider your words of love to me. May I concentrate on them and allow them access, so to change my heart, and produce the righteousness of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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