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Daily Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23 ESV, James 1:19-2:17 ESV, Psalm 117:1-2 ESV, Proverbs 28:1 ESV

Daily Verse: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” (James 1:19 ESV)

TACHUS (5036): “Prompt or ready: swift.”[1]

Prompt or ready.

Listen quickly, speak slowly, anger slowly, James wise advice helps us all.  Jesus’s half-brother teaches us how to receive God’s truth in our lives.

When others speak, we must listen if we want to hear what they say.  No one knows someone else’s thoughts, even if they think they do.  You can’t talk and hear at the same time.  And we can’t let anger distract us.  Not listening, speaking too quickly, and becoming angry close our minds to God’s truth.

Recently, I asked a friend to play mixed doubles with us.  “Maybe,” she responded.  Shocked, I became silent, thinking she didn’t want to play with me.  But as I listened, she shared her current health issues, prompting the answer.  If I had let my emotions take control and not listened, I wouldn’t have learned the truth; instead, believing a lie.

Don’t interrupt.

Readiness to listen means not interrupting.  You can’t interrupt and listen at the same time.  You effectively shut them up when you cut someone off, presuming you know what they will say.  I know that not interrupting people takes work because I struggle to keep my mouth shut.

But the more you practice listening, the better you become at it, as in anything.  Reminding yourself that you don’t know others’ thoughts gives people space to share them with you. 

When with others, come with readiness to listen and not speak, allowing them to express themselves.  Don’t assume you know their thoughts because you don’t.  No two people walk the same path; we shouldn’t act as if we know a path we never walked.

Every day, we have an opportunity to try again.  As an interrupter, I struggle not to interrupt.  I always find the truth when I put James’ wise words into action.  When you fail, say, “I’m sorry,” and try again.  God rewards the effort.

Come ready to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.  Watch as God reveals the truth to you, one conversation at a time.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 248) Thomas Nelson

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