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)
We live in a culture in which expressing yourself is considered a virtue. Even if what you have to say is obscene or offensive, even if it annoys 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 abuse free speech, without qualms or consequences. As followers of Jesus, we are called to better. We greatly value the freedom to speak, but do so humbly, eager to speak only the truth, and only in love. That requires listening and patience, both of which involve humility. Yet 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 not be known as angry people, but as righteous people, implanted with your Word, 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 much-needed rest, she barely registered the man 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.
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 woman next to him obviously had enough of Eric’s shouting.
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 to others this week! Joy in Jesus,
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.