I cannot count the times I have done the exact opposite of the above verse. Every time I do, I come to regret it. The Lord calls us to be quick to listen to people, and notice it does not say “only when they agree with you.” It is easy to listen to people when they are saying things you agree with, but they moment they don’t, it is easy to cut them off and “set them straight.”
Sadly, our society thrives on this type of behavior. So many talk shows feature two or more people “debating,” when in reality all they do is yell over each other. As followers of the Lord, we are not to live by this model. Every time we have conversations with people, our goal should be to point them to Christ, and as James writes, our wrath will not produce the righteousness of God. Instead, we are to listen to what they are saying and after they are finished, we respond out of love and give them the hope of the gospel. We need to listen to understand and not listen to respond. How are you listening?
For the King,
Pastor Daniel Batistelli