“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
Today, I want to urge you to reflect on this verse.
I could write plenty about this verse, but truthfully, it speaks for itself. Sometimes we struggle because the Bible isn’t precisely, explicitly, obviously clear on certain controversial topics. Luckily, this is not one of those topics. This is one thing that cannot be easily twisted or misconstrued. It’s simple and straightforward. I think that it is the verses and ideas like these, so clearly and simply instructed, that we should put more of our energy into mastering. We spend so much time arguing over nuance, when we ignore straightforward, but extremely important commands like these.
Everyone should be quick to listen.
Everyone should be slow to speak.
Everyone should be slow to become angry.
Do these phrases describe you, truthfully?
Do you listen more than you speak? Do you value other’s thoughts and words over your own? Does your opinion matter more to you than your neighbor’s? Do you talk over people often? Do you feel cheated if you don’t have a chance to speak your mind? Do you dislike being in positions that don’t allow your two cents to be shared?
Do you get angry easily? Do you spend more time thinking about things that have gone wrong, or annoy you, or anger you, than you do being grateful for God’s blessings? Are you cynical about anyone or anything? Are there certain situations where you’ve allowed yourself to be angry more often or more easily?
Think about these things today, and be honest with yourself. No one is grading you or judging you, it’s just you and your thoughts. God already knows the truth, there’s no use in trying to hide it. Let’s be honest with ourselves today, because none of us is perfect and we can all find ways to improve.
Ask God today to show you where you fall short, and give you opportunities to grow.
Help us not to discount simple commands such as these as somehow less important than the hot-button issues we love to debate. Help us to focus on what is clear and simple about the gospel – love, peace, unity, and righteousness. Show us our shortcomings and help us to learn from them and grow.
In Jesus’ Name,