Today’s scripture: James 1:19-20
Oh, if we could only live by these words. If we would listen more and speak
less. If we would take time to think before reacting … what a difference it
I used to facilitate Seven Habits for Highly Effective people, and this verse
reminds me of two of the habits.
The first is Be Proactive. It’s the habit of choosing how you respond. You may
have been told as a kid to count to ten before reacting? That’s that this is
about. Being “slow to anger.” Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction, you stop
and think. Then you respond based on what you value. In other words, if you
value your relationship with your child, then instead of yelling at him when he
accidentally spills grape juice on your new white linen tablecloth, you take a
deep breath and respond with gentleness.
The fifth habit is Seek First to Understand. In this habit, you listen, really
listen, to what the other is saying. You don’t judge. You don’t think about
what you’re going to say. You don’t interrupt. You just listen. The other
person is your focus. Not you.
Try this today: When your spouse or your friend or your child wants to talk to
you, put everything else aside. Look them in the eye. And listen.
And if someone does something that upsets you? Count to ten. And respond in