Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (James 1:19b, NKJV)
We’re all different, and at times our special quirks can give the perception we’re indifferent or not very responsive. However it is these special quirks or behaviors which make us who we are. I have always been slow to speak, often to the frustration of others who expect immediate responses. My wife with her nursing background often needed to make rapid responses to medical crises and so voiced her discontent with my delay in answering her questions. In retrospect, I should have asked for additional time when needed. Through impromptu speaking in Toastmasters and life’s experiences I have learned to shorten my response time. Thus, I can more actively participate in conversations and minimize the frustrations of others.
On the other hand my college professor reminded me ideas require incubation time to hatch. Letting thoughts develop over time has enabled me to find solutions even though I was doing something else. After retirement I found this true in solving Jumbles word puzzles in the local newspaper.
James 1:19 reminds us to put our minds in gear before we open our mouths. Undesirable effects can result when people speak without thinking. I have said things that later I regretted when I opened my mouth too quickly.
Words without thought can cause much trouble,
Leaving behind lots of rubble.
Incubation time can cause much gain;
Beautiful relationships still remain.
Incubation time before speaking reduces adverse consequences.
- Give some examples of bad results when you spoke before you thought things through.
- What are the dangers of not speaking quickly enough?
- Give an example when incubation time helped solve a problem.