Today's culture encourages people to speak their mind more and more. While this is good, listening has become a lost art. According to the Bible, if we focus on listening, we will have less focus on anger. Sound good? Keep reading.
When I hear the word "listen", I instantly think of my iPod. Isn't it funny how we can spend hours listening to fist-pumping music and memorizing lyrics, but when it comes to listening to what people say, we're lost. The word "listen" has a somewhat negative connontation -- it sounds like an order to pay attention to something boring. Not something on my to-do list, for sure.
Listening isn't just about respecting someone else. It has a lot in it for you. It can help you develop great friendships, relationships, and even careers. It's easy to think of it as sitting through a lecture, but in reality, listening lets you soak up tons of information that you can use every day.
God's Word makes it clear that listening is a quality we should all try to develop.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
- James 1:19-20
James said that everyone should be:
- Quick to Listen: be ready in every situation and pay attention to what other people are saying and how it applies to you
- Slow to Speak: think about what you are about to say
- Slow to Become Angry: keep calm and give others grace
Finally, why does God want you to think before you speak and make listening a habit? Because it can prevent you -- and others -- from getting angry later on. Verse 20 says, "Anger does not produce the righeousness that God desires." If you want to live a righteous life, listening is a step in the right direction.
Which habit do you need to develop most in your life: being quick to listen, slow to speak, or slow to become angry?