My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. James 1:19-21 (NIV)
Plant Your Word
I have gotten it all backwards. I have been quick to speak. I have been slow to listen. I have been quick to become angry. Obviously, I have not taken very good notes on what you have wanted me to hear and put into practice. I have not allowed you to deeply plant your word in me. I have not allowed your word to take deep roots and grow in me. Why is that? What has hindered your ability to listen? Why would I need to listen? Does someone who thinks they “know it all” need to listen? Do you “know it all”? Do you really have no need to listen? I know very little. I desperately need to listen. I need all the help that I can get. I am far from perfect. I am a work in progress that is for sure. I want and need your help. Is that a prayer of yours? Yes, I am asking you to change me. I want to be quick to listen. I want to be slow to speak. I want to be slow to become angry. I don’t ever want to become angry. At this point I’d settle for becoming very slow to become angry. Most of all, I want to live the righteous life that you have called me to live. That is also another prayer of mine. Yes, I know.
You know how I will change your heart. You know how I will transform your mind. You know what I will use to make you quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. That much I do know. You will use your word to accomplish all these things in my life. Yes, I will. You have a part to play. You will not be a passive participant in the work that I will do in and through your life. What must you do with my word if you want me to change your heart and transform your mind? I will humbly let you plant your word deeply in me. I will listen attentively to everything that you have to say to me. I will allow your word to take root and grow in my life. I will be very careful to put into practice everything that you teach me. Then you will become quick to listen. Then you will be slow to speak. Then you will be slow to become angry. Then you will live the righteous life that I have called you to live. Do that work in me, Lord. I’m listening. Yes, I know. I will.
Lord, I have been quick to speak, slow to listen and quick to become angry. Forgive me. Help me to humbly allow you to plant your word in me. Change my heart. Transform my mind. Make me a listener. Help me to be slow to speak and slow to become angry. Amen
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