Donald Trump and Chris Christie Notwithstanding (This is not about politics.)

1 Samuel 9:27

Samuel said to Saul, “Stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.”

James 1:19

Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.

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Whether or not you like either man or his politics, neither Donald Trump nor Chris Christie are known for their slowness in speaking! Quick to listen? Not so much. But before we launch into any kind of diatribe on their bent toward verbal effusiveness, it would be good to apply this word from James. We are to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James goes on to say, “For the anger of man does not accomplish the righteous things that God desires” (James 1:20). That is a great reminder for me!

Having said that, notice Samuel’s word to Saul; his desire to make the word of God known to Saul. It strikes me that we are to be quick to listen especially to the Word of God. That calls for slowing down, recalculating our priorities and agenda, and even a bit of discipline. It might mean that we watch a bit less TV, or waste less time in general. It will certainly mean that we give some time to reading God’s word.

One plan for doing so is to read the Psalms. This prayer book of the Old Testament is a treasure trove of insight about God, expressions of emotions, professions of faith, and confessions of sin and hope. It may even be that through the regular encounter with the Psalms (or any other part of God’s word) we will discover a peace, and patience that allows God’s work to be more fully embraced and experienced. But it won’t happen if we’re too busy bashing others, bloviating about our political pet peeve, or running on in our own pursuits.

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