“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 other up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 NIV
When I was a kid, I was a talker. My mom used to tell me to slow down, that I talked 100 miles an hour! I’m sure she was exaggerating, but I did love to talk. I’d tell about my bike adventure or my dog or a new science fact or anything.
But as I got older I learned that if I talked without thinking about it first, I sometimes hurt people’s feelings or was judgmental or just unkind. I would speak before I really listened or thought about what the other person had said. I would also finish other people’s sentences – super annoying.
Because as a Christian we all want to be more like Jesus, I looked in the Bible, God’s word, to find help. I found a verse that gave me advice about my blurting out. Proverbs 18:13 “To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.” I memorized this verse. Every time I was ready to speak without listening or thinking, I would say this verse to myself. It helped.
We all sometimes say things we wish we could take back. Have you ever said something mean to your mom or dad when you were angry? And you wanted to take it back when you saw it hurt their feelings? Did you ever say something “judging” about someone else and that person heard it? Ouch. You get the idea.
The two verses above give us all some great life advice. James tells us to be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to get angry. Paul tells us to only let helpful things that build other people up to come out of our mouths. The Bible has advice for all of us, no matter our issue. We can all change and become more like Jesus.
This week, find a verse that helps you. Your parents can help you find just the right Bible verse for what you would like to change. Write your verse down on an index card and memorize it. Then whenever you need it, you can pull it out of your mind and say it to yourself. God will give you the strength to change.
Blessings and becoming more like Jesus!