Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. (James 1:19-20)
When someone speaks, I can sometimes respond too quickly. So quickly, that I might not give the other person a chance to finish what they are saying.
Have you ever been there before?
Today, was a reminder of being in dialogue with my wife, that I can do the exact opposite of what these scripture verses require. When I think that she has finished speaking, then I can be quick to respond, and sometimes forget to let her finish what she is saying.
Question: How do I know when the other person has finished speaking?
Answer: When they have finished talking.
Question: Can I wait for the other person to stop talking, and even give them a few moments of grace, before I respond?
Question: What if I wait too long? Will the other person feel ignored?
Answer: Not likely.
Conclusion: In conversations with those you love, silence can be golden. You never need to rush. In fact, a slight delay might be helpful, as you seek to understand more than you desire to be understood.
Thank you for showing me that I can be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. For these are the qualities that you desire to produce within me. You, along with my beloved, can be gracious and merciful, and that is exactly what I need as you teach me your ways.
So, may your example, of a loving Heavenly Father, also inspire others to learn and grow in the richness of your grace and the bounty of your mercy. Amen.