Are you quick to listen and slow to speak?

James 1 v19-20

For a very long time, I found it very hard to resolve certain conflicts that I got into. Sometimes I felt “What’s the point?” and would resign myself to think that the other person would never understand. He or she is different and I am different and they have no clue what’s in my head or in my heart and I don’t intend to spend eternity explaining that to them. I believed that was one area of my life where I was the weakest and I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to dig deeper into this area ever. I’d rather talk about something else.

But God in his mercy caused me to meditate on his words and gave me a revelation that would change my life forever. Look at this scripture for instance: [James 1:19-20 – NKJV] says “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”. When I had first read this scripture it did not really come alive to me and I quickly dismissed it. But upon reading it again I slowly realized that I was doing exactly opposite of what the verse was telling me. In fact, I was being slow to hearing (in this case spiritual hearing) and quick to speak (or interpreting the verse). Therein I realized my folly. I thought about how I could apply it in my life situations.

As I meditated, God showed me that most of the conflicting times caused me frustration or anger because of this very reason, I was being slow to listen to the other and quick to speak what I wanted to say and the very next verse God showed me that all my wrath in these situations was unjust and unrighteous. Moreover there were times where this scripture was brought to my mind by the Holy Spirit [Matthew 7:3 – NKJV] “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” I was humbled and quickly resorted to letting God’s word work in me so that I could change in this area and believe me I have been seeing the most beautiful of changes that started taking place within me. There I was wanting to run away from every such conflict which did not result in the other person listening to me and here now I stood eagerly wanting to think of the very situation from the other person’s perspective. This got me to wanting to listen to the other and then putting forth my statements.  This began to take away all the frustration and it actually enabled me to have a broader perspective of situations in life. God in His mighty wisdom showed me my foolish thinking and changed me through His word. I thank God for being so patient with me.

Today facing conflicts aren’t frustrating but can still be painful when there is no openness from the other side. It may sometimes even seem unfair through worldly eyes where I try my level best to put on the other’s perspective before I can comment while the other person may not have the slightest inkling to do so. The old me would have wanted to hammer the other person while the new creation that God has beautifully put in me teaches me to be patient. Moreover, the word says in [Romans 12:17 – NKJV] “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men”. This is so that we do not unrighteously judge or condemn others neither avenge ourselves. [Romans 12:19 – NKJV] says “Beloved do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord”

I guess the reason why I used to get frustrated earlier was because I wanted to see justice according to my eyes and sadly Godly justice takes everything (including all the hidden things) into account. With time and patience, I have and am still learning this and began to accept that through patient endeavoring it is possible to see things through the eyes of God. When that happens things are very clear (whether they be our own faults) and we are thus informed according to Godly wisdom whether we need to apologize and correct ourselves or continue in patience and grace stating the truth to the other. Finally, I can say that for me and Sylvia in our married life, this is working out magnificently. We do get impatient at times but it’s much easier now that we understand our situations through these words of God. I urge you friends to meditate on [James 1:19-20] and be willing to be quick to listen to the other person but slow to speak and slow to anger and only then we can put into action [James 1:21 – NKJV] “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”. Stay blessed!

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