My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:19-21)
In our culture expressing yourself is considered a virtue. Even if what you have to say is obscene or offensive, even if it attacks or abuses a fellow human being, even if it is ignorant or inflammatory, there are people who will speak up to defend your right to speak, without considerations of conscience or consequence. As Jesus followers we are called to better. We value the freedom to speak, but humbly, eager to speak only the truth, and only in love. That requires listening and patience, both of which involve humility. Thank God we have the Spirit of Jesus in us—our incomparably patient and humble God. He embodies the truth, yet is continually listening to us, patiently inserting His saving Word whenever we tire of our own voice and turn to hear His.
“Heavenly Father, make us quick to listen and slow to speak, so that we might be known as righteous and loving people, speaking the truth in love, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
CELL PHONE ETIQUETTE…
After a very busy day, a woman settled down in her seat on the commuter train.
Closing her eyes for some needed rest, she barely registered a man sitting next to her.
As the train rolled out of the station, however, the guy pulled out his cell phone.
He dialed a number and started talking in a loud voice: "Hi, sweetheart, it's Eric!”
Ignoring the other passengers, he continued to shout: “I'm on the train!”
“Yes, I know, it's the six -thirty and not the four- thirty, but I had a long meeting.”
“No, honey, not with that floozy from the accounts office, with the boss.”
Ten minutes later, he was continuing to ignore the other passengers and shout.
He continued to loudly make his case to the woman on the other end of the call:
“No, sweetheart, you're the only one in my life. Yes, I'm sure, cross my heart…"
Fifteen minutes later, the young woman sitting next to him had obviously had enough.
Angered by his continuous diatribe, she yelled at the top of her voice:
"Hey, Eric, turn off that stupid phone and come back to bed!"
Eric doesn't use his cell phone in public any longer.
God grant you discernment and sensitivity in your speaking this week!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.