There's Too Much Noise Right Now

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  

From James 1:19-27
As I sit here in my local coffee shop contemplating everything that is going on in our world right now and trying to discern what to say in a time like this, these are the words that I hear the Spirit whispering within me.  

“Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the way of life that reflects the desire and character of God.”  

We live in an age of talking points and tweets where everyone has an opinion that they feel everyone else should know about. We have become quicker to speak than any other generation before us. And when everyone has something to say, nobody feels heard.  

As followers of Jesus and adopted children of our Creator Father who graciously blesses all kinds of people indiscriminately, we are called to be peacemakers in this world who bless and love all people no matter what.

To bless someone means first and foremost to see them. To notice them, to give them our full attention and to hear them. People feel loved when they feel heard, and anger takes a step towards peace when we pay attention to the angry.  

Some of us are spending too much time talking to people, talking at people or talking about people instead of listening to people and humbly learning another perspective that might be different from our own?  

Let’s repent.

There’s already too much noise; let’s not add to it. Instead of submitting another tweet or post, pick up the phone and listen to a friend or neighbor share their heart and their hurt. Instead of turning on the television, let your own soul settle down in stillness and silence.

Anger is anti-Christ.

God is love.

People are hurting and desperately need to be heard. And so if we truly want to help bring order out of the chaos and to speak life-giving truth in the midst of so much darkness, perhaps we need to be quiet for a minute and just take some time to truly love our neighbor (or enemy!) by listening to them.