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Quick to Listen

Updated: Feb 19

This devotional is from Our Daily Bread (Dec/Jan/Feb 2023-24) by Katara Patton.


I felt my heart rate increase as I opened may mouth to refute the charges a dear friend was leveling against me. What I had posted online had nothing to do with her as she implied. But before I replied, I whispered a prayer. I then calmed down and heard what she was saying and the hurt behind her words, It was clear that this went deeper than the surface. My friend was hurting, and my need to defend myself dissolved as I chose to help her address her pain.

During the conversation, I learned what James meant in today's Scripture when he urged us to "be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" (1:19). Listening can help us hear what may be behind the words and to avoid anger that "does not produce righteousness that God desires" (V. 20). It allows us to hear the heart of the speaker. I think stopping and praying helped me greatly with my friend. I became much more sensitive to her words rather than my own offense. Perhaps if I hadn't stopped to pray, I would have fired back my thought and shared how offended I was.

And while I haven't always gotten the instruction James outlines right, that day, I think I did. Stopping to whisper a prayer allowing anger and offense to tale a hold of me was the key to listening quickly and speaking slowly. I pray that God will give me the wisdom to do this more often. (Proverbs 19:11).

Gracious God, please remind me to be quick to listen and slow to become offended.

Thanks to Carol, one of our many NEWBS women, for submitting this devotional.

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