day 18: Quick and Slow

I once worked with a person who never listened and only talked and usually was the first and last person to talk in a conversation andhe would fill in the middle too. Fact is he was slow to listen and quick to talk. And, we all knew it, adjusted to it, and at the end of the day, didn’t like it. He missed out a lot on what others had to say along with their thoughts and ideas. Over time others became so conditioned to never getting a word in otherwise that they stopped bringing up ideas or original thoughts. Meetings became nodding up and down sessions and before long it just wasn’t worth it to even try harder with this person. Add on top of it that it didn’t take much to light his fuse and have him go off on a tirade. As you can imagine when it got that way no one really wanted to listen to what he had to say either so everyone would basically tune out. I always felt bad for this guy because he missed so much from others and his words became of no impact to others that even when he had something great to say, his words were just lost. We are given in the letter of James a lesson to be just the opposite as the person I have described. James says in Chapter 1, verse 19 – 20; “My dear brothers, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for anger does not not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”. To bring about the righteous life God desires we are to control ourselves and our anger and a way to do that is to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I know I have experienced on many occasions that when I start to get frustrated or angry with someone or something that has happened at work, that it was because I just didn’t listen to everything that was being said and/or I jumped right into the middle of the conversation and tried to take it over from the person was trying to explain. Just a second or too more and little slower on the words out of my mouth and the situation may not have escalated. But, too quick to talk and too slow to listen will get you in trouble lots of time and can end up in an ugly and angry place. We know that patience is a God thing. It is a gift that we all can learn to practice. As you enter into this day, pray that you can speed up the listening, slow way down the talking and be so slow to anger that it never even materializes. And if you can do this today, you can know that you are walking in the path of righteousness.