Listen to today’s devo!

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19–20)

Expanded Passage: James 1:19-20

A mentor of mine once told me that “listening to others is a gift we can offer.” She stressed the importance of paying attention to what others are saying, because listening gives us insight into what is going on in the heart. Instead of thinking of a response while the other person is talking, pay attention to what the person is saying.

In Scripture, we see this being demonstrated by Jesus himself. He went to different towns and different people and listened to what they needed. In doing this, he was able to pay attention not only to what was needed but also to what was desired—the matters of the heart. He was able to heal people physically and do miracles (things they knew to ask for), while he also offered freedom from sin (giving them much more than they asked), because he was attentive to listening to what was taking place under the surface in the lives he encountered.

These verses are an invitation to pay attention to the people we encounter every day. So when engaging in conversations with people we love—and those we struggle to love, whether because they have different opinions or are hard to understand—acknowledge that the Spirit has walked before you into those conversations, and listen with God to what is happening in the heart.

In your next conversation, pause before speaking to double-check your listening.

Sarah Linder is a lay minister for congregational care at College Wesleyan Church (IN) and a stay-at-home mom of three boys.

© 2024 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.