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Be Quiet and Listen

James 2:19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Over the last few months I have been dealing with a problem with my voice. I have dealt with constant hoarseness when singing and even pain in the left side of my throat from straining to get out a tone. Any tone. This would be frustrating for anyone, but it is devastating for a singer, especially one who's very livelihood comes from how well they can sing. So to say the least. It has been a tough time. Three weeks ago I went "under the laser" and my voice specialist shaved off a sliver of my left vocal cord where some roughness had formed making my vocal cords not work properly. I will say it was a bit scary, not knowing if I would be able to speak again, much less sing, and it was a real possibility. But God is faithful and I am on the mend and I can only say Praise the Lord. Here is the real kicker!! My voice got worse after having Covid-19 back in October and so I went to a voice specialist who after a thorough examination saw the problem and told me how to fix it. So God used Covid to get me to the doctor to get the problem looked at and diagnosed early and fixed. COVID? Only God could do such a thing and as bad as Covid was for me (I got the worse version of it) God used it to help me for my future.

Another part of this whole process that was life-changing was I couldn't speak for 10 days and I almost exploded during that time. I am the son of Faye Warren and if you knew my mom, she was a talker, and so am I. The scripture above became very real to me and helped me realize that a lot of what I say is not very helpful. I also found myself mulling things over in my mind a lot more when I heard something said, in that I couldn't actually reply. I was very quick to listen and then say nothing.....nothing. I remember my dad being very quiet in the midst of conversations (and that is usually because my mom was talking) and wondering "Why isn't dad saying anything?" I asked him once why he didn't say alot and participate in conversations when there were quite a few people talking. To which he replied, "I enjoy hearing the conversations and opinions going in a complete circle and coming back to the beginning." Basically my dad made himself an observer and learned from what was being said. Smart man!!

Matthew 12:36 says 36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. Most words are not idle. They are in the DRIIVE mode. Jesus taught that we should listen more and then speak, and the end result will not be anger but true gentleness and wisdom. I can see that is a great truth and through this time of silence" I have learned that lesson even more. I hope it is a lesson that has found residence in my soul. And if nothing else I know a little bit better the Godly procedure for listening and replying. Proverbs 15:1-2 says 1 "A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. 2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. Of course, the reality that when someone attacks you at your core it will be very hard to not reply in the same manner. But God's wisdom handles that also as vengeance is exclusive to God only and He protects and positions those who are "beat on" under His loving wings of care as Psalm 91 says 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 4 He will cover you with his feathers.He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Keep in mind that in the world we live in today there is a lot of empowerment for evil and people are going to hurt you with their words, even Christians. The response we are to have was not dated just for the time Jesus was alive, but is eternal and real for today as well. Also, keep in mind that we are to mirror God's Word in our lives and not the world's selfish way of living. I say that just in case you want to respond to the James scripture and experience a change of attitude and a change of lifestyle. You won't regret it.

Perhaps the following story will help emphasize the point that it is not always good to speak up on the spur of the moment. Kondraty Ryleyev was sentenced to be hanged for his part in an unsuccessful uprising against the Russian czar Nicholas I in December 1825. But the rope broke and Ryleyev, bruised and battered, fell to the ground, got up, and said, "In Russia they do not know how to do anything properly, not even how to make a rope." An accident of this sort usually resulted in a pardon, so a messenger was sent to the czar to know his pleasure. Nicholas asked, "What did he say?" "Sire, he said that in Russia they do not even know how to make a rope properly." "Well, let the contrary be proved," said the czar.


The Pilgrimage continues......

David Warren

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