A young boy was sitting by an American author, Robert McCloskey said, "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." If you are like me you will have to read that again. The scriptures often underline the value of being a good listener, and really hearing, and understanding what is being said.
James 1:19:22 says, "This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." James speaks of something they knew. Preceding these verses James spoke of God's good gifts, with emphasis on God's gift of spiritual life through the word of truth. Now he turns his attention to our responsibility to God's word. The word of God is completely adequate to accomplish it's purpose of saving our souls.
Let us practice the art of listening to the word. Five things are mentioned here that are extremely helpful. 1) Slow down and stop talking long enough to hear Him speak. 2) Control anger when convicted by the word and practice self examination. 3) Be anxious to hear the word and learn new spiritual truth. 4) Genuinely repent of sin in your life. 5) Remember hearing God's word is not merely an academic process, but is meant to be practical. Strive to apply what you hear.
May the word of truth abide in you!
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