James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Have you ever been having a “discussion” with someone where you couldn’t finish a sentence before they interrupted you and said something to counter what they thought you were going to say and the two of you keep doing that until neither one of you know what either of you are trying to say but you are both really angry? Sad to say, Bill and I have done that before and you don’t get anywhere until you both agree to stop and let the other one finish what they are saying. Both of you though, have to allow the other to speak and you need to really listen to what is being said. Trust me, that doesn’t mean you won’t still be angry, but you can at least reason the situation out if you take the time to really listen.
We all want to be heard, but that means we also must listen! It works both ways, you don’t want to be known as someone who never takes the time to listen to what others have to say.
Sometimes it is even best to clarify what you think you heard so you fully understand each other especially if this is a conversation with your spouse. Men and women think so differently that we can say the same things at times and mean something totally different, for example; “fine”! They really mean ‘ok, I give up’, and women mean, ‘buddy you are really in deep trouble now’!
Communication is so important to relationships, if you feel a need to test that theory just take a teenagers phone away so they can’t text 865 times a day and watch as they go through withdrawal. (Speaking of which, teens need to learn to do more face to face communication)
“Slow to wrath”, what usually causes anger? Usually it is that we are hurt, misunderstood or frustrated. The question though here that needs to be asked first is; “do you wear your heart on your sleeve?” Are you easily offended? I know some people who are so easily offended you can’t spend an hour with them without something that is said or done upsetting them to the degree that they won’t talk to you for months. How silly is that? What a waste of energy and time! Let it go, if it doesn’t affect your big picture in life, for Pete’s sake let it go! If you are easily offended really stop and think about what bothers you and why. Is it really worth destroying relationships and wasting time and energy over? There are so many important things to focus on, don’t allow minor offenses consume your time! Take that thing or that person to God and leave them there so you can have the joy of the Lord and move forward!
If you aren’t really communicating at all in your important relationships let me encourage you to begin today! Start by asking if that person is willing to share with you their thoughts, feelings and hurts they feel in your relationship and let them talk! Don’t interrupt, take the time to hear their heart as difficult as it may be to hear what they have to say. Confirm what you are hearing to make sure you are not misunderstanding and then ask if you can share with them, your thoughts and feelings as well. Open that door to communication and watch your relationship grow to a whole new level!
Quote “Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference!”