Christianity 201

March 30, 2012

More Means of Communication Equals More Possibilities for Trouble

Today’s blog tour took me to A Spiritual Oasis which, like this one,  is also on the Christian Blog Top Sites web portal.  The most recent post there by Bill Williams was about three different things, but one of them was very similar to what we looked at yesterday: The things we say, including speech and writing.  Hmmm… is Somebody trying to tell me something?  Actually, I’ve been blessed with the ability to self-edit and be self-controlled, though I will admit to having ‘lost it’ a few times. 

At Spiritual Oasis this post was titled Three Signposts on the Road to Righteousness God Desires.

Why do we have two ears and only one mouth? Perhaps that’s God’s way of saying we should listen at least twice as much as we talk!

The Holy Spirit’s counsel provides some serious thoughts on this matter: Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires, (James 1:19-20, NLT). 

The contrast is clear

Listening is a priority. Every one of us should race to listen. For those of us who are constantly rushing to do and say what matters to us, this is no small thing. Still, when it comes to our interactions with others, we are to show up early to hear what they are saying. On the other hand, tardiness is recommended when it comes to our words and wrath. Instead of rushing headlong into a verbal barrage that could easily lead to an angry outburst, we must put the brakes on. Instead of erupting in anger at what others say, we must resist the temptation to do so.

The consequences are immense

If we respond with verbal venom to the things said to us, God’s purposes are not served. If we allow anger to take root in our hearts and act accordingly, God’s will is simply crowded out of our lives. To be sure, there is no justice — no righteousness at all — in the anger of man. We cannot take the travel on the road and reach the right destination. No matter how many times we claim to be concerned about what is fair or right, if human angst animates our actions, the righteous life God desires is far, far away.

The challenge is ever-present

The world we live in is radically different from that of the Lord’s brother James. There are more ways to communicate with one another than ever before. We are exposed to more things that make us want to rant and rave than any generation before us. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some people tweet more words in a day than my great grandmother spoke in a week, maybe even a month. Still, these simple imperatives — three sign-posts leading to the righteous life God desires — are an ever-present challenge for each one of us:

  1. You must all be quick to listen.
  2. You must all be slow to speak.
  3. You must all be slow to get angry.

May God help us all heed the warning and follow the signs.

~Bill Williams

I loved the phrase “race to listen.”   And I loved the observation that there are so many different means of communication at our disposal, and so many things about which to rant and rave.   Clearly, we need this message today more than ever.