James 1:19-20 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
Such simple advice that can be so hard to follow. In these verses are the blueprint to how we should approach every situation if we would want a favorable outcome in the end in three steps.
1) Swift to hear
The first step is always the hardest. We often enter into situations with a preconceived notion of how things should be handled without making sure we gather all information. By making sure we are “swift to hear” we will be enlightened with information that will give us greater understanding in exactly what the root of any issue may be. This not only shows wisdom but also compassion for those who feel they are not being heard.
2) Slow to speak
We are often to hasty with our responses, often making sure we get our point across instead of first thinking of the impact of our words and how they will be received. Our words can make us seem wise or foolish and even lead people to life or destruction. Once we say something it can never be erased so we must be deliberate in the message that we want to be received because God will hold us accountable for the things that we say.
3) Slow to wrath
In our rage we can often feel justified, feeling as though the other party brought it upon themselves. However, if we look at our past outbursts it was normally done out of a selfish desire to make ourselves feel better. If we were honest we would see that often the situation could have been better handled if cooler heads prevailed. Exercising a forgiving spirit instead of a wrathful one will often result in the best resolution of any conflict.
In these three steps God is showing us how to be more like Him. God is swift to hear our prayers never letting a situation go unnoticed or leaving us alone in our moments of need. God is slow to speak in that still quiet voice but also deliberate in His word about the plan that He has created for us. Finally, God is slow to wrath in His handling of us as sinners, constantly forgiving us knowing that we make mistakes but seeing us as what we can become rather than what we are. In these verses we see Gods love, guidance and forgiveness and he urges us to replicate His character when we deal with each other for positive results. Let’s strive for this goal together.