We must listen more and speak less

By: Lisa Wilmore

My Christian Friends,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:2).

Have you ever notice the elderly’s quietness when people are conversating? Have you taken note of Jesus’ quietness during his persecutions? Whether conversations are casual, calm or heated, we must be wise enough to remain silent and allow God’s wisdom to reign.

During our bible study where my membership is held, I took note of persons who chimed in on the lesson. They were verbalizing their thoughts and opinions while the elderly ladies, who were present, listened. They neither commented nor penned anything on paper.

The following morning, I called one of the ladies and mentioned that she was noticeably quiet at bible study. She said, “Sometimes you have to listen to get what God has for you.” At that moment, I was reminded of the importance of listening intently rather than speaking. Although she did not say anything in bible study, her silence spoke volumes.

James advises Christians to “be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath” (James 1:19). In other words, we must listen more than we speak even when there is opposition. In fact, we, as believers in Christ, must keep our words under control. Solomon expresses in the book of Proverbs, “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint (self-control) and whoever has understanding is even-tempered (calm)” (17:27). The writer also shares that “Whosoever keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23).

God has given us the tools to be used to speak; however, we must be careful of what we say. We must not be guilty of sharing every thought that comes to our minds.

Furthermore, others may negatively challenge us. But, depending on God’s wisdom rather than our own response, distinguishes the wise from the unwise. It is important that we make a conscious effort to control our desires to speak at times in which we should listen. It is a fact that someone will say or do something that erupts anger in us. However, we should think before we speak and allow God’s wisdom to reign.

In many cases, listening rather than speaking may be very difficult. James says that “no human being can tame the tongue (James 3:8). Therefore, even at our best, we are subject to say something that does not please God which ultimately will cause harm to others. So, “we must listen more and speak less.”

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