The Word This Week

James 1:19...

Anatomically, God has designed each one of us with two ears and one mouth. This provides a physical clue about the spiritual truth Jesus’ half-brother James teaches us next.

Being “swift to hear,” means listening. But it also means hearing more than just the words being spoken. Especially in the Body of Christ, we need to be hearing the heart at least as much as we hear the audible words being spoken.

Language is an interesting development that has taken place in every culture. Every culture in the history of the world has coalesced around a certain set of sounds created by the mouth - and then also in written form. Each culture has over time assigned a specific meaning to the audible sound or written word spoken or written by the person speaking or writing. Each culture has its own unique set of phonetically produced representations.

There is no culture without its own unique language.

There was a time when the language barrier between cultures was not so. The result was an attempt by mankind to make itself God, and they built a tower to the heavens as a representation of that fact. God split that apart, destroyed that plan, and divided speech according to location. (God is into variety, and opposes all man’s attempts at what we now refer to as ‘Globalism.’)

All that said, given the unique quality of the spoken or written word by culture – we must still be very careful to listen to the heart of the message to discern the meaning of what is being said. The best listener values the heart of the speaker and is being careful to hear the heart of the words spoken. The best listener knows the speaker well enough to know their heart.

What breaks down the process of loving communication is for the hearer to be formulating what they are going to say even while the speaker is still speaking. This can often cause a distraction which causes the heart of what is being said to be misinterpreted, at times leading to anger.

Since our anger is a manifestation of the flesh, and is not a gift of the Spirit, the communication which was intended to be loving – even if it is in the form of a rebuke – can become perceived to be divisive rather than unifying. While it is not necessary for agreement to take place with every communication between brothers and sisters, it is necessary for unity to remain, as the Spirit of God is a unifying Spirit.

Pastor Bill