Most Christians and a lot of non-Christians can quote James 1:19: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” Yet, this scripture is one of the most challenging commands to heed. We are more likely to speak quickly, become angry in a heartbeat, and listen as a last resort. We have become a society of people who speak a lot, spend even more time being angry, and do not listen anymore.
We miss the point of this passage if we do not include verse 20: “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” The progression is evident. When we become active listeners engaging with grace and humility, we practice wisdom and self-control. However, if we flip the instructions and ignore the command to listen quickly and choose instead to speak first, the doorway to anger is flung open. God instructs us to listen even to those we do not want to hear. If that’s the case, why are we not listening anymore?
Why do we speak first and listen later, risking misunderstanding, causing hurt and fracturing relationships, and being carried off into anger?
Here are 10 possible reasons we are not listening to each other anymore.
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