“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19, NIV
I remember when our kids were young it was fun, but not always easy. The time before they could tell us what they wanted was probably the most frustrating…especially when they were crying and couldn’t tell us what hurt.
So as good parents we taught them to communicate as quickly as we could. I remember with our first born even trying to teach her sign language.
We are trained to communicate and to communicate well.
But have we learned to listen first?
I know I have to think about it. I can’t go into a meeting with any agenda but “listen”. I’m not saying I always do that, but I know when I do think about listening first it’s better. When I choose my words before I speak and silently pray “Lord give me your words” I tend to be amazed at my (notice the sarcasm) wisdom. If I don’t do those first two things I’m rarely slow to become angry.
When I’m the “pastor” or “counsellor” or “coach” I put on that hat and it’s easy to listen first. When I’m the “dad” or the “husband” or the “friend” I have to consciously think about listening first.
But when I consciously think about it, it does become easier.
Enough about me. What about you? Are you quick to listen? Do you seek first to understand before you’re understood? Is it easier in one of your roles than it is in another? Is it tougher with a certain individual? Why do you think that is?
We can continue this discussion in the comments.
Can I Pray For You?
Lord, help us all to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Help us to be angry with the things that anger you and patient with people you’re patient with. Speak to us Holy Spirit so we can move to the rhythms of your grace.