James 1:19, “Understand, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear (a ready listener), slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry” (AMP)
Words that come out of our mouths are very powerful. They either do good or do damage. I think words can really cut deep and may take long time to heal compared to a natural deep cut.
I have said some things that I did not mean to and some came out the wrong way I wish I could take them back because they did such a great damage. Isn’t it amazing that God created only one mouth and two ears which would indicate we need to listen more than actually speak? If it wasn’t for my mouth, I would have gotten myself into less trouble.
James encourages believers by saying, “Let every man be quick to hear (ready to listen)” first. Even the judge before he delivers a verdict first listens to the case. Listening lets you process what goes in, then applying wisdom as to how it will come out. Those who are quick to speak lack the wisdom that is required to process what comes out of the mouth. You know of those times things came out of your mouth you wished you took time to process in your mind before speaking them out. One of the barriers to communication in marriages is couples tend to be quick to speak and slow to listen when it should be the other way round. What happens is that our mouths are loaded with words ready to fire. We want our points to come across first and therefore what is being said is not being taken in to be processed and brought out in wisdom. Under pressure we speak words we don’t mean and once they are fired, they cannot come back. We can also do this with our kids. There are parents who just want to tell their kids what they must do neglecting the opportunity to listen to what their kids have to say. Some have belittled their kids by what they say to them. The kids should get their definition from home. Mom and dad who are raising them are the ones to affirm them. Listening may not mean you do what they say but giving them a place to air their voices, this would also let you know which areas they are growing in and which areas you need to help them develop. Parents say, “kids don’t listen”, and now kids are saying, “parents don’t listen”. Listening is hard but vital.
Then James says, “slow to speak”, The order of things, “quick to listen” then “slow to speak”. This is not talking about speaking slowly but being careful about what you say and how you say it. This requires wisdom for in the process of being hasty to speak, corrupted words may be close.Proverbs 10:19, says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise”. There is safety in listening than speaking.
If we become great listeners and slow to speak, I wouldn’t be surprised if offenses and being angry would be minimized because of the order of things. Listening shows you value what someone has to say and without listening, we will continue to battle without great solutions. Be quick to listen and slow to speak, you could save yourself a lot of heartache. Blessings Ev