How many of us are quick to speak and slow to hear? I would be willing to bet more of us than care to admit. We seem to live in a world where we never listen to each other any more. We have so many distractions, our attention spans have gone down to nothing, we can’t stop texting or answering our cell phones whenever they ring. It doesn’t matter who we are talking to, our spouse, our kids, our boss, our employee, God.
Today’s Gospel reading comes from James:
Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.
We need to listen more and speak less. Listen to what others are saying. Are they reaching out to us in some way? Are they asking for our help? What can we learn from them?
A little further down in the same reading is this:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.
Whether you are a believer in God or not, this passage speaks volumes. Who do you see in the mirror? Do you forget what you see as soon as you walk away? Or worse, do you not like who you see looking back at you?
In the world we live in today, I wonder if this might be part of our problem, we look at ourselves in the mirror, we don’t know who is looking back at us. We don’t know who we should be, we don’t know which way of the moral compass is up, we have no guidance. How can we know if the person looking back at us is a good person or not when we have no guidelines? Think about it.