My relationships would benefit significantly if I slowed down my words and sped up my brain.
When we lived in California, we had a friend who seemed to calculate every word. Although the impatient side of me at times grew frustrated, I often wondered how many arguments, embarrassments and tense situations I’d avoid if I only took the time to think before speaking. What’s more, how much sound knowledge would I gain if I took the time to listen–not smile and nod while my mind jumped to my next point–but truly listen, when others spoke. Listening is more than audible reception. It involves a genuine concern for others and a desire to understand not only the words they present but their intended meaning as well. And often, it involves holding our tongue.
According to the Bible, when I speak without thinking, I’m a fool inviting trouble. And perhaps, at times, even worse–a slicing sword inflicting wounds.
James 1:19 tells us, "Understanding this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (NIV).
Slow to speak. Quick to listen. Slow to become angry … And always ready to show love and grace.