Quick to Listen

My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, and slow to speak, and slow to anger. – (James 1:19, HCSB)

My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Keep control of your anger. – (James 1:19, ERV)

Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. – (James 1:19, VOICE)

Imagine the conflicts that would be avoided if only we all followed these directions. When we are quick to listen, we hear the heart, hope and experience of the one before us, and it provides an opportunity to understand where another is coming from. Additionally, if we pause, listen and process before we respond, we are far more likely to speak out of love and not become frustrated or angry. Our charge is to be patient and not allow anger to fly out of control. God is faithful to provide the strength and self-control necessary to listen first and respond well. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us to listen intently and be slow to speak, so that anger is kept in check and our words and deeds are led by His love.

Help us to listen,

So we truly hear;

The heart of others,

All those who are near.

Show us to slow down,

To be slow to speak;

So ev’ry response,

Is kind and in peace.

Lord, help our anger,

Be under control;

So love is what leads,

And grace is our goal.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You listen to us with love every time we speak. Thank You that You respond to us in love and do not easily anger. Forgive us for the times that we have not slowed down enough to truly hear those around us, or have listened only to respond, rather than to truly hear. Please check our hearts when anger rises so that we would slow down and place all in Your hands to lead us. Show us how to listen in love well so that those around us may see Your heart for them. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to lead us to listen well and do all things in love and with self-control. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

I call on You, God, because You will answer me; listen closely to me; hear what I say. – Psalm 17:6

The Peace of Christ

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.” – (Colossians 3:15)

The peace of Christ is the sort of calm that comes in the midst of chaos, and will cover our heart and mind, reminding us that He is in control, and has a hold of our hand.  It does not necessarily cause the chaos to cease around us, but His peace presents an internal ease, in spite of things.

Rule, according to my NIV footnotes, is the very same word that would be used for an umpire or referee.  That being said, He is whom we are to allow to make the calls, as the internal desires and conflicts clash.  When we permit our hearts to hear what Christ has to say, we can clearly distinguish between our own feelings, and that which is of Him.  If we choose to trust and allow His peace to rule, we are better able to promote peace wherever we go.

Since we are members of one body, we are called to peace.  Christ’s intention for the body of believers is for us to be united in purpose, and established in love.  Peace shall reign, if we are completely dependent on Him.  This is not His hope, but rather, it is His call for all who believe.  We are to be at peace with one another, and offer peace to those around us.

And be thankful.  Always.

May the peace of Christ,IMG_0123

guide our heart and mind;

may we extend peace,

and always be kind.

May we be united,

together to stand;

do as He has asked,

obey His commands.

Allow Him to rule,

as body, be one;

unite in purpose,

and honor the Son.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our peace.  Thank You that as we allow You to rule and reign in our hearts, You lead us and show us how we are to unite as a body of believers, and be at peace.  Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks and praise.  Forgive us for not relying on You when chaos comes, or for holding onto any unforgiveness that would compromise peace in the body.  Teach us how to trust You more, so that we may live and love in Your perfect peace.  May many come to know You, as they feel received and offered peace by we who believe, throughout this sacred season.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.