James 1:19

We often want to be treated in a certain way, without giving thought to how we act regarding others. It’s human nature.

James 1:19 tells us we need to be quick to listen, not just hear. Be attentive to whomever it is engaging with you. Try to understand. Practice empathy. It is so easy to listen with an intent to respond but listening to what someone has to say, while trying to appreciate the content, context and body language can help to enhance communication and make it that much more productive.

Be slow to speak. We all remember being told to think before we speak. However, I don’t think the idea comes from merely collating your words nicely before opening your mouth. I think it is a follow-on from being quick to listen. Quietly assessing communication received, before speaking, is what is meant here, I feel.

When one is attentive to communication received, and responds accordingly, communication is both complete and exchanged in Love, as opposed to pride.

Being slow to anger isn’t something I do well at all times. It’s one of those things that takes practice. Often forgotten, though, is that, to practice NOT being quick to anger, one has to be presented with situations where one would usually become angry! Similar to practicing patience.

James 1:19 seems to be a basic reminder of good manners and successful communication and I think it is a lesson we can all learn from.



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