Ears, Mouth, and Unsavory Shoe Leather
“19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (KJV, James 1:19-20).
Have you ever jumped to conclusions without hearing the whole story, got upset, and spoke too soon? Only to find out your word and anger was unjustified. Be honest. We have all experienced the unpleasant taste of shoe leather in our life. Our lives and relationships would improve drastically if we’d only heed James’ instructions!
It has been said, God has given us two ears and one mouth because it is twice as important to listen than to speak. We should be active listeners. An active listener takes time to hear and to mentally process what is being said before they respond. In conversations, we should attentively listen without thinking of what our next response is going to be to the person. Many times we are merely waiting our turn to respond to the person sharing their point of view. We must hear them out!
In difficult situations, if we apply the principles of being “swift to hear” and “slow to speak” it allows us to assess the problem, thus, allowing us to be “slow to wrath”. Often when people are angry they want to get a reaction out of you, not a thoughtful response. Knee-jerk reactions can do great damage to our relationships. If may be extremely to difficult to remain calm and listen, but this is the key to keeping unsavory shoe leather out of you mouth! Ask the Lord to help you become “swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath”.