In the world but not of it

December 9, 2009

Say the second thing…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak…James 1:19

You’ve heard the expression “some people need to learn the
hard way”. This passage from James is perhaps one of those life lessons that we
all must learn the hard way.

There are few people that are good listeners. Most people
are often quick to interrupt and share their opinion especially when they are
familiar with the topic.

We need to learn from Solomon’s example. When God told him
to ask for anything he asked for wisdom and everything else followed. I find
that I desperately need wisdom and discernment each day even for basic
decisions. Wanting to be in God’s will for my life has led me to be more
cautious about decision making, speaking quickly or reacting to situations.

I’ve discovered that God is never in a hurry therefore I
don’t need to be either. Being quick to listen doesn’t negate us from speaking.
It simply means we need to consider our response, be prayerfully minded and
seek to respond with wisdom.

We need to avoid absolute answers as if there are no other
alternatives or methods unless of course we are speaking of topics that are
absolute, i.e. Christ, salvation and so on. But especially in our daily
conversations with people at work we are measured often by our speech. We tend
to judge people by their use of words, the types of phrases they use, and the
adjectives and expressions they are fond of.

Think about the people you interact with most and how they
communicate. Maybe you don’t realize it but you have probably formulated an
opinion about each person’s communication style; their speaking and listening
habits. So, the truth is, we are viewed in much the same way.

If you are someone who answers quickly and is often
matter-of-fact then you might find that people are cautious around you in terms
of what they are willing to share. If you take a moment to consider your
response, if you think through your use of words then people view you as
someone who is more mature in how they handle matters and they will likely
trust you more in conversation.

Someone once told me to say the second thing you think of.
Not sure if this is a proven approach but I believe the underlying principle is
what James 1:19 is meant to teach us.

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