Devotions from Jan Johnson’s book, “Invitation to the Jesus Life”
As we think more on “being quick to hear, slow to speak” we realize we often over-talk …. It seems our heart has stopped trusting God to work in the situation, so we help God out with our ready supply of persuasive words.
Words can dominate and interrupt, exaggerate, become dramatic or spiritual sounding. And we can also use gestures and tones to influence.
But” simplicity of speech usually flows from a heart that mirrors the heart of Jesus: compassion and truth, love and goodness.” Our words reveal what is in our hearts. (Matt. 12:34-35)
If we are putting confidence in ourselves instead of God, it will show itself in the force and volume of our words. But as we mirror the heart of Jesus, we will direct our mouth to state an idea briefly and peacefully and then allow others full freedom to respond.
Rather than a lot of words it is better to love the person standing before us, asking ourselves how we can draw them into the conversation. How is the Spirit nudging us to love the people around us and hear their deeper selves in this moment?
As we practice eager listening and slow speaking, we become fully present to others without thinking of what we are going to say next.
Let us practice putting aside what we want to say and consider deeply what the other person is saying. As we practice this it trains us to have confidence that God works without our over-the-top efforts. We can trust Him.