James: 1: 19-20
"So then, my beloved brthern, 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." NKJV (New King James Version)
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (NIV)
I love how both of these versions read. Here is what speaks to me:
1. Kristi, be quick to listen!
2. Kristi, be slow to speak!
3. Kristi, be slow to become angry!
Talk about needing the Holy Spirit's power! This is probably the exact opposite my initial reaction is when I've been hurt or criticized. I want to start defending myself, point out my good points and attributes, and get really angry because how DARE this person hurt ME! Right? Wrong! Chapter 1...it's not about ME...it's not about YOU. It's all about God! And when we are quick to speak instead of listen and we are super angry, guess what..."it does not produce the righteousness that God desires for us." God doesn't want us to react in anger. He doesn't want us to defend ourselves...He does a great job of fighting our battles, remember...the battle is the Lord's. God is our defender. Sometimes we need to, to put it bluntly, shush up and listen and chill out!
Take a deep breath, let the other person speak, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you remain calm because if you want the righteousness of God to flow through you then that is how we are to behave. If you are a yelling, ranting, and raging crazy woman (did I say that out loud? lol) then chances are you didn't stop and pray and ask God to help you in the situation.
Quick to hear...Slow to speak...Slow to wrath...
It also reminds me of the Proverb (10: 19) that says, "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise."
Oh, Lord, we need your help in this area, because taming the tongue is very difficult. Teach us to be good listeners and really hear what others are trying to tell us. Remind us that it is not about us, but all about YOU! Help us to be wise with our words today!