Sermonette: Listen, Wait, and Then Speak
Ted E. Bowling
Given 29-Aug-20; 16 minutes
The apostle James provides some of the best advice on communication and control of the tongue. Because the wrath of man does not bring the righteousness of God, God's people must be swift to hear and slow to speak. James 3:1-12 contains perhaps the most sustained discussion of the use of the tongue in Scripture, stressing that, like a rudder or bit, it may be a small organ, but it has a big impact, potentially edifying but also potentially harming or even destroying. For this reason, it is necessary for God's called-out ones to learn to listen (at least twice as often as engaging the tongue). Listening, a lost art, demonstrates paying attention, showing outgoing concern, esteeming others more than self, and showing humility that comes from wisdom. Listening improves friendships. The correct order of communication of all types (including texting) consists of listening, waiting, and only then responding.