Quick to Listen?

Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear (be a careful, thoughtful listener), slow to speak (a speaker of carefully chosen words and), slow to anger (patient, reflective, forgiving); for the (resentful, deep-seated) anger of man does not product the righteousness of God (that standard of behavior which He requires from us). James 1:19-20 AMP

One of the most difficult things to teach our children and learn for ourselves is the art of COMMUNICATION. If we want to have successful relationships, we must learn to communicate in love especially when we disagree. Communication involves sharing AND listening with the goal of understanding. Unfortunately, many people never learn to work through the hard stuff. Instead of communicating, they ignore people they have conflict with, reject, unfriend, attack, act out in spite, or refuse in pride to allow themselves or their position to be wrong. 

A lack of communication eventually leads to division… which frankly is evidence of the devil’s work in our relationships. Remember his role is to divide so that he may conquer… and believe me his mission is to rob, steal, kill and destroy you and those you love. WISDOM seeks a better understanding through discussion. WISDOM practices James 1:19 being QUICK to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. WISDOM compels us to go our brother/sister and work thru offense as instructed in Matthew 18. WISDOM commands us most of all to FORGIVE as you have been forgiven (Matthew 6:14). 

People, the spirit of the enemy is hovering over our conversations waiting to pounce. He is stirring up our thoughts, planting insecurities, exaggerating biases, and highlighting offenses. We must be smarter than his schemes. The division, hurt, rejection I see happening all around me, whether it be part of political disagreement, a work issue, a relationship challenge or disagreement, or something else is part of an attack on our hearts and souls by the enemy himself. 

RISE UP! Have the difficult conversation before you unfriend, reject, berate, or attack. Don’t text – talk! Don’t post – pause! Don’t email – express! Communicate face to face when possible. Seek a better understanding. Peace comes from learning to pause, pray, listen, share, and above all LOVE… even in conflict. Remember this circumstance, challenge, etc. is TEMPORARY. It will pass and when it does what will remain? Bitterness? Resentment? Hurt? Anger? Unforgiveness? Division? or Love, understanding, greater intimacy, stronger bonds, and reconciliation. The choice is yours. BE WISE.

Hugs – cj


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