Monday, May 26, 2014

Quick To Listen, Slow To Speak, & Slow To Get Angry...Yeah Right!

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:  You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”  James 1:19

I think James forgot one part of this statement:  …unless you are married with children.

As often as I do the opposite of what James says, you would think his statement did include that last part.   I have a terrible time following James’ advice for 2 reasons:  I have to fix everything & I don’t like when things don’t go my way.

When one of the 3 females in my house comes to me with an issue, I immediately go into “fix-it mode” and stop listening altogether.  [Yes, I am the only male living at my house with 3 females, pray for me.]  Not only do I stop listening, but I begin analyzing their situation and start explaining to them what they should do in order to not have whatever issue it is they are having.  After my detailed instructions on how to resolve their issue, I am reminded that all that was required was for me to listen, not fix anything. 

Usually, this makes me frustrated because I don’t know how to just listen.  Obviously, if you’re telling me about a problem, it must need fixing.  The frustration then becomes anger and I wind up saying or doing something that doesn’t make Jesus very happy.

So, in short, rather than following James’ advice, I tend more toward being slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to get angry.  When this happens, bad decisions are made. 

My recommendation is this: STOP!  Stop being an idiot!  Listen to your spouse/kid/friend.  You don’t always have to fix everything.  And for heaven’s sake, save the anger for something important – like when watching college football.

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