James 1:19 – My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (NIV)
My daughter bought me an iPad for Christmas two years ago, and I love its convenience. I use it all the time and keep it close by so that I can text her or respond to emails as necessary. My cat, Duffy, however, seems to get annoyed when I am using it and he wants my attention. I will be busily typing away at a communication when suddenly, he reaches out and taps the send button with his paw. And zip, the unfinished email goes flying off into space. The first time that he did this, I thought that it was just a fluke. But when he started to do it regularly, always tapping the send button each and every time, I gave up on that notion! It appears that he has effectively learned how to butt in on my cyber conversations, which is most annoying.
I have to admit, however, that this unusual behaviour of Duffy's did cause me to consider something else: How often do I interrupt others amidst their conversations, to get in my point of view? Guilty as charged, I thought. In fact, butting in while others are speaking seems to be a national pastime. The majority of us are all guilty of this crime against proper and polite social etiquette. We are not quick to listen and slow to speak as James exhorts us to live. We tend to be slow to listen and quick to speak, which, in turn, often offends others and may cause strife or hurt feelings where anger can prevail. I know that I certainly don't like it when someone does it to me, and I bet that you don't like it any better than I do when it is done to you.
So now, when Duffy creeps up for a snuggle and reaches out to tap the send button when I am on my iPad, I am ready for him. I quickly thrust my arm between him and the iPad before he can butt in, but I also find myself sending up this silent prayer: Lord, make me a person who is quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. How about you?
By the way, is there anyone out there who would like to rent Duffy for awhile in order to be reminded of our brother James' words?
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the wondrous and sometimes even hilarious ways that You get Your point across to us, Your people. May we seek to employ the truth of Your Word in our lives day by day, that we may be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry … or cause others to be angry against us. In the precious name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Take Time To Be Holy" (Lyrics)