Today's Lectionary Text
James 1:19-20, 4:13-17You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.
In my mother’s final 2 years of life I frequently found myself making the 9-hour trip to Colorado to spend quality time with her. While traveling, I listened to radio ministry and tapes… Instead of concerning myself with the situations ahead I was inspired and filled with the Spirit. Back in the day, Dr. Charles Stanley was one of the evangelists I listened to. His constant catchword was “LISTEN” every time he wanted to make a point. One day at work the girls asked me if I realized how often I said, “Listen”?
This habit came back to bite me! I was leading a service while the pastor was gone and had to make some last minute changes in the service…I was trying to explain this to the liturgist but she kept finishing my sentences, and not with what I had to say. When I said, “Listen”… this person told me right then and there…in front of God and everybody… that I was rude, and no one spoke to her that way. Imagine my shock…service was about to begin and there was no time for resolve. I had to turn my ear to the right voice and adjust. The Lord intervened. Later I realized that since she was fairly new to our church, we didn’t know each other very well.
Did you know that the word LISTEN is used 412 times in the NIV? I rarely use it anymore! However, it is still a very important word…when used correctly.
Certified Lay Speaker
Ottawa First UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Precious Lord let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be yours as many times as I open my mouth to speak. Forgive me for the times I wasn’t in tune with you and thank you for always being there…Amen
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