Think Before You Speak
Verse 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
Being quick to listen is only one portion of the communication formula. Listening quickly won’t be helpful if we aren’t also slow to speak.
Being slow to speak is something that seems to be leaning towards extinction in our day but it is such an important trait. As with all important traits it is imperative that we understand the truth of it and don’t believe it to be something that it isn’t. This does not mean that we should never speak. In fact to never speak would be harmful to the relationship, as resentment would build and cause more of a division.
Being slow to speak has a deeper thought to it than just refraining from speaking. When we are quick to speak we often don’t think through what we are saying or how it will affect the other person or the situation that we are in. We tend to only think about ourselves and may miss the whole point of the conversation. We jump to conclusions about what the person is trying to tell us based on what we think they are talking about, when in reality they are talking about something totally different.
Imagine the difference it would make in our conversations if we were quick to listen and then before speaking we mentally evaluated the truth of motive behind our response. Too often our responses have more to do with what we want the other person to know and or do than it does with the conversation that is at hand. Maybe the person is sharing something with us because they just need to be heard out about what is going on in their heart but because we are not being slow to speak we are making an issue out of their troubled heart.
Another reason it is important to be slow to speak is because we need to think out our responses so that they are not merely reactionary. We need to ask ourselves a few questions before speaking. Would God want me to say this? Is this something that will be beneficial to the other person’s spiritual life? Is this something that will work towards building the relationship? Is it loving and true? Is this the time to bring this up, is the person in a place of mind to receive it as loving? How may this comment affect them going forward in their life? These are great questions that will help us build relationships that will please the Lord and bring joy into our lives.
Making It Personal
Have you been quick to speak instead of thinking it out? What has happened to conversations where you weren’t slow to speak? When is a time that you wish that people had been slow to speak to you?
Making It Personal Kids
What is a benefit of not speaking to quickly in an argument? What can happen if we speak too quickly? How hard is it to think before you speak?
Father, forgive us the times we have not been slow to speak. Give us wisdom in the future to know when to speak and when to stay quiet. In Jesus’ name, amen.