“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
I had an interesting Customer Service experience this past week. After explaining my issue, I was refused a return and instead offered a small discount on my next purchase. I was not happy with the response. I was ready to quickly lash back out and provide them a piece of my mind they had yet to receive. But instead, I slowed down, sat back and tried to figure out what it was that they needed to hear in order to change their mind. So, I slowly and methodically went deep in explaining the flaw I experienced with their product (which was new and appeared to be not fully tested). After making a rationale, unemotional, well-researched and factual argument they responded with a full-refund and return. Did it have to be that hard? Probably not as they could have just made the customer right from the first interaction, but what this experience proved is that when two parties really take the time to slow down and listen to each other, and then common ground springs up for each to find their footing. Yes, It pays to slow down a bit.
James tells us that we will be better witnesses for Christ if we are quick to listen and slow to speak and get angry. People don’t change their minds and beliefs because someone tells them to do so. They change and are open to new thoughts because they trust that the person who is talking to them understands who they are or what they are going through at the time. And the only way that can happen is that we listen carefully to what the other person has to say. We will be confronted with the opportunity today to practice what James taught us. Let’s try to slow down the reaction to speak before we listen.
Reference: James 1:19 (New Living Translation)