In a modern culture of self-promotion on social media and the constant chatter on our smart phones, texting and tweeting about every opinion that pops in our heads, the Bible says, “Be quick to hear and slow to speak.” That’s biblical wisdom, godly wisdom. Stop talking so much and start listening more. Even when we keep quiet, in our heads we’re already thinking of what we’re going to say. No wonder we’re having so much trouble in our society. Divisions within and without. Arguments everywhere. But no one is listening. And no one is really being heard.
What can be done? The book of James offers the paradoxical wisdom that we can actually talk less in order to say more. For real communication, real understanding to take place, we need less talk and more listening, and more appropriate action. The book of James is one of the most practical books of wisdom in the Bible. It is sometimes referred to as the New Testament’s book of proverbs. Written by James, the brother of Jesus, and the pastor of the first church of Jerusalem, it is also a very pastoral book, and a very practical one too.
In the first chapter of James, he told believers that the first place to apply this paradoxical principle of talking less to say more should be in rightly responding to God’s Word. We can learn to rightly respond to God’s Word.