Listen Carefully and Speak Wisely

“With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”

James 3:9-10

Ponder This

The old rabbis used to say God gave us two ears that are out, exposed, and easy to be seen, but God put our tongue behind some iron bars, guarded and inside to show that we ought to listen twice as much as we speak.

Sometimes, we want to be the judge, the jury, and the executioner. We want to play the blame game and blame our mates. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when Adam wanted to blame Eve. We assign guilt. We say, “It’s all your fault; you should be ashamed.” Listen, if you find yourself saying words like, “You always,” or “You never”—that’s destructive. Don’t ever begin the sentence with “You-this” or, “You-that,” because you’re playing the judge, and that’s not your role. The Bible says, “Love is kind.” Rather than saying, “You always,” or “You never,” try, “I feel,” “I need,” or “It seems to me.” The Bible says we’re to guard our tongues (see Proverbs 21:23). When you listen, listen carefully. When you speak, speak wisely.

  • When have your words been hurtful to someone else?
  • How have you been affected by the hurtful words of others?

Practice This

Think about someone you may have hurt recently with your words. Repent and make peace.

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