I’m excited to introduce this week’s guest blogger, Charles Westbrook. Author of four books, Charles also spent twenty-five years in East Asia. Today’s post is an excerpt from his most recent devotional, Fresh Daily II. Explore this and other works by Charles at his site.
These thoughts are so vital to us whether our day will be spent in parenting, mentoring, or just being. This post relates to us all. Thanks, Charles. May the Father grants that we remember this each day.
“My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” (James 1:19-20)
Have you ever known someone who hears a statement and reacts without thinking?
They may lace their remarks with anger. These are the sort of folks who will also finish your sentences for you.
Somewhere between “hearing” and “speaking” a response takes place in the mind, one that leads to speaking.
Sometimes folks may hear something they don’t like, react immediately, and then – boom! – an explosion of emotion and a cacophony of words.
We generally excuse this by saying, “Well, he’s just ‘wired’ that way.” Maybe, but we should probably still not excuse it.
What this does is to give the normal reaction between the two events a time to sift, time to settle, and time to stimulate a thoughtful response in place of a reaction.
Reactions generally do not help because most of them go straight to anger, which, says James, does not accomplish God’s righteousness, or, what God wants.
Reactive anger is generally all us and not much of God. The grace practice is to think about it before we speak. We must be eager to listen, but we must also be slow to speak, so we can hear from the Holy Spirit in our thought processes.
For those who have a quick mind, this is easier said than done. But, practice makes perfect. Deciding that we are going to be quick to hear and slow to speak is the starting point.
Lord, Help us to practice this grace of being quick to hear and slow to speak, so that we can serve more fully according to Your will. Amen.