Are you a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
Understand this, my dear brothers, and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to
get angry. A man’s anger does not produce the justice God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in
your lives, and humbly accept the word God had planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save
your souls. ~ James 1:19-21
Listening in a New Way
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” ~ Luke 11:28
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling
yourselves. ~ James 1:22
Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. ~ Proverbs 16:20
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built
his house on the rock. ~ Matthew 7:24
How often do we read God’s Word, then we just go on our way. Life gets too busy for us to put what we just read into practice. But, we read His Word and put our check mark down, another thing on our list completed, like when we do the dishes, fold the laundry, or help one of our children finish their math worksheet. Why does reading God’s Word only rest in our lives as something more that we have to complete for the day?
Do we pause to let God’s Word sink into our souls? To write itself on our hearts? To memorize it and act like it is more important than anything else that day? I know that I didn’t. I would read through a few chapters, close my Bible, be done for the day and go on my way. Till one day, He asked me when I was going to start doing what His Word said?
That hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I had a really good relationship with God. I was pretty far off from the truth. I was so busy looking straight out into the world, at what was before me, that I forgot to look up. If I had spent more time looking up and listening to God, I would have had the type of relationship that God was calling me to have. But, I was too busy marking off my chek list for the day.
Slow to Speak
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. ~Proverbs 17:18
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is
a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your
whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. ~ James 3:5-6
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. ~Proverbs 18:13
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools,
for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to
utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
Too often someone offends us and we lash back in anger. We didn’t even take the time to let them finish what they were saying, before we opened our mouth.
By the time that the dust clears, we realize the damage that our tongue has caused. Creating more strife and chaos than what we started with.
When we stop to realize that we need to be slow to speak, like God asks us to do, then we can start to live our life the way that it was meant to be.
It seems lately, that every where I turn, God is putting me in tough spots with different relationships. Places, where something has to be said. I am trying so hard to hold me tongue. To listen before I speak. To only speak in love and not in anger. Somedays I do better than others. When I fall, I repent. I ask Him for His wisdom and try again. My mouth has created so much trouble for me in my life, that I am purposefully seeking God’s wisdom, to help me find the right words at the right time.
Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. ~ Proverbs 10:19
Slow to Anger
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. ~ Proverbs 15:1
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. ~ Ephesians 4:26
Stop being angry. Turn away from your rage. Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. ~ Psalm 37:8-9
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. ~ Proverbs 29:11
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:9
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that
battle within you? ~ James 4:1-2
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. ~ Proverbs 15:18
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. ~ Proverbs 14:29
As I read all of these verses I started noticing that, if we took the time to listen to what someone was saying, think about it first, then respond, our answers would be calmer. Creating an enviornment of peace, wisdom and sincerity. All too often this is not what happens.
I have done a pretty good job lately of not letting things bother me, as much as they used to. I still sit and think about things for awhile, letting myself brood over the injustices that have been done to me, when I should pray, give them to God and trust in Him. Quickly letting go of my anger and the burden that it bestows upon myself. A burdern that weighs more than I wish to carry.
So as I continue to act on God’s Word, putting my trust in Him, I am slowly seeing the fruit of peace in my life. I am rising to the occasions of creating peace better than I did before. And even though I still have a long way to go, I know that when I do what God tells me to do, lean on Him for my understanding, and stop asking others what they think, then and only then, will I be able to squelch my temper completely.
I know that it is so easy to just read this blog post and agree with it, but do nothing with it. If you are struggling to listen more intently, be slow to speak and slow to anger, then don’t just glance over this blog post. Take each section and read it more than once. Write down the Bible verses that really seem to smack you in the face. Put these verses up somewhere that you can read them daily. Memorize them and write them on your heart. Then, one section at a time, put God’s Words into action. Then and only then will you notice a difference.
May God bless you and keep you always,