Summary: To show the importance of listening and speaking
Title: Swift to hear, slow to speak
Theme: To show the importance of listening and speaking
Text: James 1:19-20
¶ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 AV)
It seems to be that James throughout his book is talking about the balance between faith and works. Back and forth it swings. One just depending on faith and the other just on works. James seems to have written this who book on this swing.
But one of the greatest points that he makes is the fact that the true showing of faith is shown from how one controls his/her mouth. The mouth must have been a major problem in James’ church. It must have been almost uncontrollable. This is the reason that in every chapter there seems to be some reference to the mouth. Either in speaking or in prayer or something there is the purpose of it. I believe As James speaks in chapter 3 he is trying to get us to understand if we can control the tongue then we have mastered one of the greatest monsters ever to be tamed.
Here he gives us some advice in control. In conjunction with the book of Proverbs I would like to look at this verse and see what we can learn about control.
I. Stop talking and start listening
¶ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, (since you understand the above then “take note of this my beloved brethren”) let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: (James 1:19 AV)
¶ He that answereth a matter before he heareth (listening) it, it is (his) folly and (his) shame unto him. (Proverbs 18:13 AV)
It is important that in this society that we become listener. People have something to say and want to be heard. All some people need is a shoulder to lean on. If we are doing all the talking and none of the listening then many times we are not being heard because people tune us out.
Talking too much can also get us in trouble
¶ In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. (Proverbs 10:19 AV)
It is said that God has given us two ears and one mouth so we should do twice as much listening as we do speaking.
Love is shown in listening not in always having a word to say.
Sometimes it is a folly to interrupt.
¶ He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. (Proverbs 18:13 AV)
To answer or even to be preparing to answer a person while listening can truly lose the line of communication. Sometimes when I am in conversation I get frustrated because they do not understand what I am trying to say. The reason is because most of the time they are preparing their next words while I am talking to them.
II. Think before you speak
¶ A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23 AV)
¶ The heart of the righteous studieth (weighs its) to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth (gushes) out evil things. (Proverbs 15:28 AV)
¶ Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20 AV)
Do you see a man that speaks in haste, there is more hope for a fool than him. NIV
There will come a time in our conversation where we get to speak. Now that is most of the time. I have been in conversations where I never get a word in edge wise. But this is very unusual. When we do we must be very careful about what we say. We must be very choosy about our words. There is no rule that says we must say everything at one time. All don’t have to be said at that moment.
Words are important. The old adage that says, “Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me is false.” The power of words is stronger that the power of physical pain. Physical pain will go away but words last forever
It works both ways. The use of positive words can change a persons day. If when we see a person in a sour mood if we would only find something genuinely positive to say to that person we don’t know what difference it could make.
Set a watch (a guard), O LORD, before (over) my mouth; keep the door of my lips (sealed). (Psalms 141:3 AV)
¶ Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21 AV)