I am moving along in my journey of participating with the SIESTA SCRIPTURE MEMORY TEAM 2015! The verse The Lord led me to for this go-round is from the New Testament Book of JAMES, my husband Gary’s favorite book of the Bible. One of the best Bible studies I’ve ever completed was entitled JAMES: MERCY TRIUMPHS by author and teacher Beth Moore [her ministry, Living Proof Ministries, is also the founder/sponsor of the Scripture Memory Team]. I remember my friend and partner in women’s ministry at Second Baptist Church, Cindy Schult, saying, “I feel as if we are leaving behind a dear friend,” when we completed the study on that last night. It was a tremendous study and we all learned so much. Here is my memory verse from the 19th verse of that first chapter, taken from the Amplified Bible.
James 1:19 – Amplified Bible (AMP)
Understand [this], my beloved brethren.
Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener],
slow to speak,
slow to take offense and
to get angry.
I had a friend send me a tweet regarding this verse saying “this is a hard one to live by.” A text conversation with another dear friend earlier yesterday shared the same sentiment when I texted her the verse. Let’s break it down:
QUICK TO HEAR [A READY LISTENER]
I am not quick to hear because I often find myself formulating my response to the person talking to me rather than really listening to them. I am over 10 months into my new position and I’ve had to do a lot of listening, more than ever. So it’s safe to say I’ve listened more than talked…at least while I’m at work. True. It’s been hard for me because I am a talker…but I have learned that it takes practice and concentration and intention to really listen. It’s actually hard. Sometimes I want to say, “if you only knew how much I really wanted to say when I was listening…” I attended a women’s ministry leader’s retreat called “SELAH” this past January 23-24 in the North Georgia mountains. The main speaker gave me a great takeaway. She said we need to W.A.I.T. Stop and wait and ask yourself, “Why Am I Talking?” W=Why A=AM I=I T=TALKING? Get it? So I typed it out and taped it to the bottom of my computer monitor. It is a trigger for me when I see it to stop and W.A.I.T. if need be! And it often is!
SLOW TO SPEAK
If you are practicing the “W.A.I.T.” [Why Am I Talking] discipline, then you are going to be slow to speak. I’m asking the Lord to keep me from the habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Give me ears to hear and a heart to just listen…and listen well.
SLOW TO TAKE OFFENSE AND GET ANGRY
The only way to handle being offended and getting angry is by walking daily in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is difficult and only comes about by much prayer. I also believe that growing older and acquiring the wisdom that accompanies aging is a benefit! You’ve seen more and just know when to “pick your battles.” And always, above all – we must put on love. Being Christ-like in our response when offended will bring much harvest if the offense is one concerning our faith. I Peter 3:15 talks about always being ready with a response that is gentle and courteous. If the offense is personal it may be harder especially if it involves your family or friends. The best response is a soft answer and avoidance of anger.
Well, this is a great verse and I pray one that will settle deep in my heart. So now, I’m going to sign off so I don’t have to say, WAIT …”Why Am I Typing?”