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Listen Quick, Speak Slow

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. “ – James 1:18/19

Have you ever observed how silly, stupid arguments can quickly escalate into catastrophic relationship breakdowns? We see it all the time… friends who will have a slight disagreement, spouses who are not quite seeing eye-to-eye, and colleagues whose perspective is a degree off-center. A minor dispute so quickly can spark an argument, which in turn can spark an untold amount of anger, which can spark bitterness and resentment and ultimately spark a loss of a relationship. It seems such a simple process to look at objectively, and so sad that minor disagreements can create such significant conflicts.

Fortunately, at each stage in conflict escalation, there are things that we can do to stop this destructive behavior. …, and it’s all about speed.

In the scripture above, James talks about speed – be quick to listen, be slow to speak and be slow to become angry. It is fair to summarize that conflict gets out of control when we attach the wrong speed to the incorrect response. For instance, nothing exaggerates and escalates a conflict, like when we are slow to listen or when we are quick to speak or quick to get angry. I wonder how many conflicts could be avoided if we learned to use our built-in speedometer properly. When in conflict, it is essential that we know to slow down our speech and speed up our listening skills.

Listen Quick. Speak Slow

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