Quick to Hear, Slow to Speak

Proverbs 21_23

Some years ago, I was informed that a (distant) relative was going through a tough time. She and her mother, it was said, were bickering back and forth, she was tired, and suicide (according to her) seemed like the best option for her.

On hearing that, my first thoughts were (after remembering my own past days of that type of thinking), What can I do? What can I say to help her? I can write, so, maybe a poem about God’s love will do. Fix-it-mode, sisters, was in full effect. However, when I stilled myself enough to pray and hear what God had to say, I found His answer far different than my own.

The Bible admonishes us, in James 1:19, to be quick to hear and slow to speak. Of course, this verse isn’t specifically pointing to the hearing of possible suicide cases, familial issues, and things of that nature; however, I do find it applicable to those situations and others that may arise in our daily lives.

When first learning of certain issues—be it one in the church, one in our families, or one on our jobs—our first reaction to them is typically one of impulse (of the flesh); nevertheless, it should be that of prayer (God’s answer to me). Jumping into situations prematurely, before it is deemed absolutely necessary to do so, can cause more harm than good, and (or) inflame a situation that may have died down had we followed God’s plan of action.

Prayer, friends, is the key.

With that said, remember to guard your words carefully, as every issue that arises doesn’t need our opinion and input. Prayer to the Most High has been changing things (and people) since the beginning of time, and it is still efficient to do the same today (cf. Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, trust God’s leading in all things, and walk only in the way that He’d have you to go (cf. Isaiah 30:21).

“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26

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Disclaimer: The above answer given to me concerning my relative’s situation is not a one-size-fits-all type strategy. There may be instances where a (potential) suicide case needs quick action, and in that moment, it may be up to you to act. However, in other cases (less severe), God may lead you to simply pray about the situation and that person’s salvation. All in all, always follow His leading (the chief point of the post).

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