19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
Being quick is a great attribute to have, especially in sports. In football, basketball, and soccer having athletic quickness will give you a great advantage. Quickness can get you to the ball first, it can help you make the tackle behind the line of scrimmage, it can help you cut off an advancing player, or it can help you blow by someone on your way to the hoop for the dunk!
But there is a kind of quickness that honors God because it shows true love and humility. It’s having a quickness to listen. God wants his children to have a knee-jerk response to listen well.
Why do you think that is?
It’s because listening well equals loving. Think about it. When do you feel truly valued by someone? Oftentimes it happens when you are speaking and someone else is intently listening to you. Contrast this with a situation where you are trying to talk to someone and they are constantly looking at their iPhone or looking over your shoulder for someone more important. Does that make you feel loved? Of course not! Why? Because they are not listening well.
It’s also because we tend to exhibit pride through our words. We are all tempted to talk about ourselves all the time. Seeking to close our mouths and truly listen to someone else is a good means to increase our humility. God loves the humble but opposes the proud (1 Peter 5:5).
Read Proverbs 10:19
• What can happen when we talk too much?
• Why do you think that is?
• Why is less talking seen as prudent?
Our Father, help us to humble ourselves in light of how humble you were when you saved us and gave your life for us. May we increase in humility and may that be evidenced in the way that we listen. Help our communities be strong through people listening well to one another and tangibly loving one another in this way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.