November Reading Plan: The book of James
November Memory Verse: James 3:10
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"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry." James 1:19
I can only imagine how James must have seen the above verse played out over and over throughout his lifetime. Being the brother of Jesus, he would have seen this kind of behavior and must have marveled at the discipline.
Why did Jesus have such a profound effect on the lives around him? Jesus was quick to listen. Jesus was slow to speak. Jesus was slow to become angry.
How many people do you know that have all 3 of these actions mastered? Probably not many.
I know a few that have one or two, but to have all 3 of these characteristics is rare. Very rare.
As women, we want to be heard. We want to spill our hearts out and for others to understand. However, sometimes it is hard to find someone that will actually listen to the entirety, and then be slow to speak after. Often we are interrupted, and given quick advice and then we are expected to get over it and move on.
Isn't that frustrating? I can just imagine talking to Jesus, spilling my heart out to Him as He earnestly listens to every word. Then, when I am finished, He just takes my hand and tells me He understands and that He loves me.
Isn't that what we all really, deep down, want?
Most of my arguments with my sweet and darling better half are over a lack of communication. In other words, I want to talk, and he doesn't want to listen. I get annoyed! I just want him to listen, be quiet, and tell me he loves me. Simple, right?
My darling better half wants to interrupt, tell me how to fix my problem, and get back to ESPN. I love him, but this is the truth.
No wonder the Bible has to instruct us in every day living. We get it wrong, we mess up, and we wonder what went wrong.
Were we quick to listen? Were we slow to speak? Were we slow to become angry?
It's not just my better half that has this problem, I have the same problem. I am often not slow enough to speak, and certainly at times give no pause to anger that arises. Yikes. There goes my mouth again!
I wonder how our relationships would change if we were to really live this verse out with intentionality and purpose. What if we were to do these 3 things in every conversation?
Often we quench what the Holy Spirit has to say when we jump in too quick with advice. Sometimes, we just need to be the listener, and let the Holy Spirit speak to their hearts. He knows what they need to hear the most.
As I type, I think about my children. Sometimes as a mom, I am not a good listener. I am often quick to correct, and quick to get angry over their behavior. Sometimes I just want a quick fix for them and then to move on. However, this is not what this scripture is teaching.
I need to listen to them more. I need to speak less and let them speak more. I need to be slow to anger. Even when I am at my wit's end with them.
Honestly, this post just got away from me for a second. With tears brimming my eyes, this verse is resonating with my mother heart. God's Word always hits with purpose and impact, often taking me by surprise. While I am trying to teach and encourage, He is doing the same with my heart. Constantly teaching me, showing me some tweaks that need to be made, molding my heart. That's what good Father's do. They never stop Fathering us.
Let me let this all sink in. I pray God uses this verse to resonate with your heart as well. Relationships will change when we get this. When we live this.
James saw this first hand through his brother, Jesus, what this looks like lived out. Oh, and did he see it. He had a front row seat.
shutting my mouth and opening my ears,