You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. James 1:19
It’s Monday morning. After a late night, a 4:30 a.m. “Wake up mom even though I have been sleeping through the night for 3 weeks” cry from my 7-month old baby girl, “sleeping” on the chair with her waking up multiple times, and an early morning feeding, I was praying for a good day despite my rough night (…although snuggling my baby girl was so wonderful). I tumbled out of bed to start my 15-minute Prayer Punch before my other five kids woke up. Everything was going well, my prayer time was powerful, and then it happened…the tickle.
I was reading my devotion and Scripture and…well…that tugging, pulling, weird feeling started happening in my heart. You know the kind where you know you need to do something but you are not doing it? The feeling when you know the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart about something? Ever have that feeling? I call it the “Holy Spirit Tickle.” The Lord put it on my heart today to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. This may come easily for some, but for me this is CRAZY hard.
As I reflected on this scripture, I began to see how I can be so busy being a mom that I can miss the opportunities to embrace the JOYS of being a mom. I am constantly moving on to the next task, the next school subject, the next meal, the next chore, the next sport’s practice, the next, next, next….and in all the busyness I can miss the opportunities to stop and and be quick to “listen” to the ones around me. Can I stop and be quick to listen?
In many of my conversations, I catch myself being quick to speak. Sometimes, people just need someone to listen, nothing more. Can I be slow to speak?
With never ending to do lists, school schedules and life, my busyness can also cause me to be quick to get irritated when tasks are left undone, or something doesn’t turn out as planned, or I fall behind schedule. Can I be slow to get angry?
“I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” I said as I walked out my bedroom door and faced the mission field ahead of me. My home, the mission field God has placed before me, is where I live for Him daily. How can I glorify you Lord?
On my mission field today, I was quick to listen when my 7-year old son asked me to make eggs for breakfast. I wanted to do something fast and easy and move on with the school day, but I stopped and listened. It was a memory he will keep for a long time because I taught him how to use a knife for the first time which was “AWESOME” in his book. We made some delicious eggs together and he is still talking about it.
On the mission field today, I was slow to speak when I was faced with comments multiple times that would have otherwise stirred up anger and triggered a long-winded response from me. I made every effort to keep it simple and positive.
On the mission field today, I was slow to get irritated when it was 2:30 p.m. and we were still finishing lunch and school while my baby girl was crying for mommy’s attention. I made every effort to be JOYFull for what we DID accomplish!
James 1:19 is a powerful verse that can be life changing! I am taking on the challenge and praying this verse over my life for the next 30 days. This is, and will be very hard for me, but I won’t give up. If I fail, I will get back up and try again. I may not be able to take advantage of EVERY opportunity, but I will be grateful for the ones I am able to enJOY. The key for me is glorifying God in how I listen, speak, and respond. While the journey may be challenging, I am tickled happy to see what God will do with me. I will keep you updated on how things are coming along every week for the next four weeks.
I don’t know what challenges you may be facing, but there is so much joy to be uncovered in the midst of your busy, “nothing is going right,” “I can’t do this anymore” kind of life. Allow God to tickle your heart and change your life! Won’t you join me on my mission?
Do you notice that you are too busy to be “quick to listen” to those around you whether it is your spouse, children, coworkers, family members, or friends? What are some ways you can be “slow to speak” especially when responding to a comment that may stir up anger? How can you be “slow to anger” when you are overwhelmed or irritated and something happens that breaks the camels back?