“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19 NIV
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV
This week, though this may be something many of us need to work on, I am kind of preaching to myself. As a child, I loved to talk. I wanted to share a new fact I had found. Or tell someone about my latest adventure. Or just talk to anyone about anything. I’m afraid my love for talking came very early.
My most annoying habit was to finish someone else’s sentence for them if there was even the slightest pause. Or to answer a question before someone was finished asking it. Very annoying! Proverbs 18:13 “To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.” became my memory verse. I took the time to recite it to myself before I responded to someone else.
Even as an adult I find the urge to respond too quickly to be a problem. I have added the above two verses to my repertoire of memory verses. I love the book of James. I find that he bluntly speaks the truth no matter the results. And Paul never fails to give life-living advice. I still have my troubles with my tongue, but I try not to set any “forest fires”. (James 3:5)
So as I continue to try to control my speech, I try to slow down my response time and follow Paul’s directive to only speak words to build others up, encourage and help. I recognize my faults and ask the Lord to help me as I use His Word to address my short comings.
This week, let’s each of us choose one area of our lives that we wish we could change for the better in order that we would be more Christ-like. It can be anything. The Holy Spirit usually pricks our heart when we aren’t doing our best in a certain area. Choose just one thing.
Find a verse in the Bible that will help you address the issue and memorize it. Each time you find yourself on the edge, recite it, and then respond. The Lord is mighty to save us. He gives us the words and the strength to persevere and overcome.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we explore how to use God’s word to better ourselves and overcome our weaknesses.
Blessings and strength!