Pastor Rick Lipira: Morning Devotion 08/31/22
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
God is speaking. Are you listening? I mean really listening?
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)
There are 30 words in these two verses and a lot can be said in a little. We can apply this passage in a couple areas of life. First, it can be in the way we handle conflict with individuals we meet daily. Secondly, and most important, this can be in the way we receive instructions from the Lord. In today’s society, it is ashamed that we have allowed conflicts, debates, and disagreements to separate us from each other. I heard just this week of a family that has decided they are so politically divided they can have no relationship together whatsoever. That my friend is a shame. We tend to get furious when someone disagrees with our point of view and many times shut them off, refusing to listen to anything they say. I enjoy when I watch a great court room setting where two attorneys’ (or even a school debate team) come from different points of view, and make such an excellent case, they make you think.
This passage tells us, “Be quick to hear and slow to speak”. One of the most difficult things to do in a conversation, is listen. When you don’t listen in a conversation you articulate:
- I don’t care what you have to say, my mind is already made up.
- What I have to say is much more important than your views.
- We have determined that listening is waiting our turn to talk.
There are times in life our first reaction is to respond in anger and “let me tell you something…”. It is extremely important to think (and pray) before we respond. After some thought, we may choose a different approach something with a more loving and caring response. Often, our first reaction is not the best.
In the context of the chapter, James is mainly talking about the Word of God. James is saying we need to be quick to hear the Word of God, slow to question it, and not get mad about what He says. There are people throughout this world that are furious at various commands and statements in the Bible, and they are determined to discount the truth attempting to justify their own sin. When you read social media, you will find people taking scriptures out of context and making fun of the truths of the Lord as if His Word was some kind of joke. This is very dangerous ground to be on, and there will come a day, when the Mercy and Grace of God will run out.
I have heard it said that God gave us two ears, and only one mouth, even placing our tongue behind a wall of teeth, but it still gets out and makes cruel and hurtful statements. Proverbs 17:27-28 tell us, “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent”.
Pastor Rick Lipira