Be Quick and Slow
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
James 1:19 NLT
“Be quick about it!” is a phrase many of us are familiar with. Essentially it means HURRY UP!!! When it comes to listening, we don’t often associate the ideas of quickness with listening, yet that is exactly what James is saying: “Hurry up and listen, would ya!”
We all know that listening makes for better relationships. Listening moves us to better understanding of other people and where they are coming from. People feel valued, wanted, and respected when we give priority to listening.
Many times, complex problems are best solved through listening and understanding.
Speaking is an accelerator in relationships. Communication today completely relies on the speech accelerator. In fact, the gas pedal is pushed to the floor. I wonder if we even know where the brake pedal is on our speech today. When all we do is speak, there is no room to really understand other people and their issues. In fact, it is even hard to have compassion for others because we cannot stop talking.
The truth is, constant speaking with little concern for others leads to anger. Have you ever said in exasperation “Would you just stop talking!!!”
James is asking us to put the brakes on endless talking, which triggers anger.
Encouragement: Listen more, and your relationships will improve. Talk less, and you won’t be as angry. Listen more, and you will have compassion for others. Talk less, and you will see things in people you have been missing out on.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for these words from James in the Bible. Holy Spirit, help us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. We look forward to better relationships because of being quick and slow. In Your name Jesus, we pray, Amen.
-Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center