My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20
How many times have we all had to say those words or something similar? I couldn’t keep track of how many times they’ve come out of my mouth. I hate when I put my foot in my mouth. Don’t you?
One of the issues I have in life is reacting and speaking before I think. I am a verbal solver. The problem with this is that I often say things before I’ve really thought about how someone else is going to hear or read what I have said.
I need to remember to take the time to re-read or re-think what I’m going to say before it comes out. They say practice makes perfect. I’m a work in progress.
This happens in my marriage. Not only with me saying things and flying by the seat of my pants, but also in things my husband says to me and how I hear them. While we are responsible for what comes out of our mouths – or via our fingertips – we also have a responsibility as a listener.
Isn’t that hard to do sometimes? But it’s the truth. When someone clarifies what they meant, we need to accept it and let our initial reaction and feelings go.
How often do we do that? Sometimes, I don’t want to let it go. My offense is real to me and it takes a while to cool off and realize that I am in the wrong. Who likes to be wrong? No one but no one likes to be misunderstood either. Both sides stink.
Do you give people the benefit of the doubt? Or do you assume you understood what they originally said and refuse to accept that you misunderstood?
Let me challenge you to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and wise to understand and forgive. If you see a comment from someone and aren’t sure how they meant it, ask. Don’t become offended because of an assumption. – Don’t worry, I’m writing this to myself too!
Once our old pastor prayed for everyone to have a lot of sex. What he meant to say was success! Oops! Shortly after that comment 8 of us became pregnant and we all delivered with in a month or so of each other.
Have you put your foot in your mouth? Have a funny story about it? Share in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!