Christianity · Reflections

Slow to Speak


listenUnderstand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19 NLT).

I learned something about myself yesterday I wouldn’t normally admit. We do have to accept correction and learn from it, don’t we? The Holy Spirit challenged me to be quick to listen and slow to speak. You see, I have been quick to speak and slow to listen.

We live in a world now where everything is available almost instantly. We have access to information at our fingertips, we can communicate remotely from anywhere, we condense conversations sometimes into text messages. I admit, I love technology. As an introvert it is often more comfortable for me to text/email/instant message someone instead of calling/ speaking face to face or sending an actual handwritten letter. I find myself drained after interacting with people. This is no excuse.

The Holy Spirit brought to mind how I tend to treat people as if they are text messages. I start talking and answering before they finish their thought and tend to move on to something else, often right in front of them. I allow distractions. This is quite discourteous and it gives the other person the feeling that I am not listening. I am listening, but not as effectively as I should be and definitely not putting the person I’m talking to first. For that, I apologize to anyone I’ve done it too.

There is a reason Scripture tells us to be slow to speak and quick to listen; it keeps us from making false assumptions and giving the impression we are more important than the person speaking. If we give people on platforms the courtesy of listening to what they are saying, we should do the same for everyone. We’ll have a better understanding of what others feel and believe when we shut up and pay attention.

Let us put every conversation we have today on a platform in which we are quick to listen and slow to speak.

Shalom!