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. (New King James Version)- James 1:19-20
One of the hardest things to do is remain silent when you really want to put your 2 cents worth into the conversation.
How many times have you sat listening to a friend pour out their woes, just waiting for a break in their words so that you can tell them how you would handle the situation if it were you? You're so busy thinking of what you wanted to say next that you're not really listening to them at all. Maybe, just maybe, they don't want your advice. Maybe all they really need is a sympathetic and attentive ear so that they can talk it out for themselves.
Can you do it? Can you listen patiently and prayerfully so that when God prompts you to speak, you will have the right words?
And what about those times when someone speaks negatively at you or about you. How quickly do less than godly words pop into your head and out of your mouth? When someone is mad at you do you find your own anger quickly escalating into an explosive outburst?
God wants to produce righteousness in His children. One of the ways He does that is by teaching us to hold our tongue. When we're busy speaking, we're not listening. This even applies to prayer. Yes, we are to speak to Him, thank Him, praise Him, but we are also supposed to listen for His voice, His guidance, His promptings.
So, let's set our minds to listen more than we talk, to hold our tongue until we know that we have something helpful to say and to react to people, not in anger, but in a way that brings honor to the name of Christ, so that God might produce His righteousness in us.
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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)