“Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of a man does not work the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.”
Two different translations of the same verse. A verse that most of us have heard before, but probably fail to follow on a regular basis. But what did Pastor Bill say last week during his message? That we as Christians “know more than we do.” I know the “slow to anger” part tripped me up a couple of times this week alone! There are just people we don’t like, who make us angry, who irritate us, etc. But does that mean we should stop trying to get along? Do we keep making the attempt to “get along,” or should there be a time when we finally quit “banging our head against the brick wall?” Is being slow to anger the same as being “tolerant?” The Lions Club-sponsored sign in town once had a quote from Abraham Lincoln that said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” I thought at the time that it made a lot of sense. But how many of us would make the effort to get to know someone we don’t like? And what about the rest of this verse … the quick to hear, slow to speak … part? My Study Bible explains that part of the verse this way: “When we talk too much or listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James wisely advises us to reverse this process. Put a mental stopwatch on your conversations, and keep track of how much you talk and how much you listen. When people talk with you, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value?”
Who do you need to get to know this week?