My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20)
Scripture shows us that when a man is slow to anger he can calm a dispute rather than stir up strife (Proverbs 15:18), he is considered to be better than the mighty (Proverbs 16:32), he can use his own discretion to slow down his anger (Proverbs 19:11), and it is one of the trademarks of a good overseer (Titus 1:7).
James 1: 19-20 also speaks about being quick to listen. A good listener maintains eye contact while talking with you, doesn’t interrupt you when you are speaking, and asks meaningful questions for clarification. They give you their full attention, and don’t try to fix the situation for you, but just listen while you share your concerns.
Someone who is slow to speak knows the importance of spending more time listening than speaking. They know how to patient with you, so that don’t miss or misunderstand what you are saying, and their words are filled with God’s grace and compassion, as you pour out your heart to someone who cares.
Now let’s take it one step further. What would it look like to be slow to anger? A person who is slow to anger is not easily offended, they maintain great composure while under stress, and they never consider the way of the foolish who are quick-tempered (Proverbs 14:29).
Teach us how to be quick to listen, so that others can share their hearts with us. Show us how to be slow to speak, so we can choose our words carefully, and help us to be slow to anger, because its easy to let our own anger get the best of us. Amen.