Wow, I don’t know about you, but James has been stepping
on my toes. If you have been near FBCTC in the past few weeks,
you know we have been camping in the book of James; and we’ll be there for a few more weeks in Worship and Small Groups. Through this study, a familiar verse was brought back into my window of focus. In James 1:19, we are instructed to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry; and these things just don’t come naturally to me. We live in a society that is losing the ability to effectively communicate each day. In fact, recent studies show that the average attention span is now 6 seconds, which is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000.
It seems that most of the time we have it backwards; we are
slow to listen, quick to speak and even quicker to become angry.
Instead of listening, we are too focused on ourselves or consumed
with our devices or just plain too busy to be concerned with what
others have to say. We have become quick to use our words to show how much we know or to prove a point and, in many cases, cause pain in the process. James points out to us that this behavior does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Listening is where it begins and is one way that we can model the love of Jesus. He was always ready to listen and engaged others with carefully crafted questions. His listening gave way to transformational conversation. Our listening can be life-giving. With every nteraction we have the possibility to “give life,” to be a blessing. I pray that we become more ears and less mouth.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should
be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,20
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.