Be Slow to Speak

Daily God Walk for Sunday, January 9, 2011

 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.   – James 1:19-20

We’ve all known people who were “quick to fly off the handle.” They are not comfortable to be around because you don’t know when something is going to set them off. 

James is giving us three keys to controlling our anger; be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.

What does it mean to be swift to hear? It means to listen carefully.  Sometimes we can quickly take offense at a sentence we half heard or even of a thought that was not expressed adequately. Listen carefully and process what is meant by what is said.

Being slow to speak indicates that we don’t just respond to what “we hear” but to what is meant by the one talking. To do that we have to think through our response. Sometimes the best response is to ask questions to get clarification before we respond.

The third key is simply to keep a lid on your anger. Don’t let others control you by being able to manipulate you into becoming angry and doing something that will embarrass you.

All of this comes from humbly accepting the word that God has planted in us. When we are living in the Spirit it is his word that flows from us when we speak. When we will take the time to process a word or a thought we have heard before we respond the word of the Spirit in us will be able to respond with his word.

We must keep in mind that the words we speak reflect what we have in our hearts. We are wise to keep our hearts submitted to the Spirit so that the words we speak are words of the Spirit.

Be slow to speak and your words will be Spirit words.

 Prayer: Lord,  I tend to respond too quickly to a perceived wrong. Grant me the grace to be a careful listener and to be even more careful in what I speak. And, above all, grant me the grace to be slow in becoming angry, particularly over issues that can easily be resolved. In your name, amen.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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