Father, James continues in giving good advice for righteous living. I ask that You help me to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”. These things are taught to children as they grow up. I can remember being told that ‘children should be seen and not heard’. And ‘think before you speak – after all, you have two ears and only one mouth’, the message being that you should only speak half as much as you listen. And ‘count to ten’ when you feel yourself getting angry so as to allow time to cool down and think before acting on your anger. I was taught these things as positive ways to get along with people. I did not know then they had Biblical roots for godly behavior!
So, help me truly listen; with my mind and heart, not just counting off time till it’s my turn to say something. Help me focus on the person speaking and what they are trying to convey. Then let me measure out my words carefully and respond, not just react. And if what I am hearing is not to my liking, and I have a strong emotional response, guard my tongue so I do not create conflict. But help me be a peacemaker.
Father, I am trying to follow James’ suggestion. He says “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says”. So as I am listening more intently, which includes paying attention to what You have to say to me in Your Word. Do not let me miss anything You have to show me or teach me or say to me as an encouragement. Father, I want the blessing in doing this. More of listening. Less of speaking; keeping “a tight rein on [my] tongue”.
Father, You made my ears and my tongue. Help me use them to bring You honor and glory. Holy are You, Lord! Translated from the Hebrew: Hallelu Yah! Amen