How many of us have a list of things we need to get done?  Do you look at your list and time out what and when and who?  What can wait, what can’t?  When do these things need to be done?  Who are the people, and in what order are the said things being done?  You get my meaning.  What about needed conversations?  Do we look at them the same way? 


      I don’t know about you, but I need so much work here.  James 1:19 and 20 says, Know this, my beloved brother: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  


      When I feel the need to have a talk with someone, I imagine all sorts of ways the conversation could go in my head.  Do you do that?   Like, I’m going to say this and then if they say that then I’ll say this.  I have it all worked out in my head, (I’m usually already ticked off at this point, over an imaginary conversation), before I even get the chance to ask them if we can talk.  


      When the conversation actually begins, I’m thinking of my response to statements before they even finish speaking.  I haven’t heard a thing they have said.  I’m so afraid that my opinion or what I want isn’t going to get heard, I totally ignore what they’re saying.  This is ridiculous.  


      Quick to listen…Shut Up Bonnie!  Listen.  I’m sure if I would, I would find out that what I was upset about was either totally misunderstood or blown way out of proportion.  If I find that it was said with the intent that I understood, then is the time to ask more questions and listen some more.  Slow to anger, slow to speak, means to take time.  Take a breath.  Think and pray before I respond.  I can tell you, when I don’t do this, my way of responding won’t be as God wants me to.  


      Is my response a good representation of Jesus?  Let me tell you what people are doing.  They’re watching for our response.  If we call ourselves christians, we are being observed.  By other christians and non-christians alike.  How do we respond?  With anger or with love and understanding.  The world is expecting us to fail.  Our fellow christians will learn who to go to in times of trouble.  


We need to work on our Quick and Slows!

Bonnie Smith
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