19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
When a verse starts with the phrase “My dear brothers and sister, take note of this: …”, you get the idea that something really important is about to be said! I believe that this simple phrase- “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” is perhaps one of the greatest keys to good relationships ever written.
As it happens, this is one of the things God has already been highlighting to me this year to work on in my own life. I am by nature a strong minded person (maybe everyone is in some area or another?…). Seeing things from another person’s perspective is often a challenge, but it is so incredibly important in good relationships.
The older I get the more I seem to notice how deeply self-centredness is ingrained in my human nature. I am so grateful that God in his love and wisdom continues to teach and train me in a better way. Thankfully, He is so patient with my shortcomings, and keeps gently challenging me to change through His Word (and through other people I might add).
I love how the Message bible paraphrases the last verse here: “In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation landscape of your life”. Yes please.
Written by Shelley Witt