“One of my neighbors,” Stan began, “has developed a terrible habit of interrupting when someone is trying to talk with him.”
“That can be real annoying when people do that,” I responded. “It’s like they think what they have to say is much more important than what you are saying.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “The tendency is to avoid even trying to carry on a conversation. What’s the point of trying to talk when the person is not listening because he or she wants to talk.”
Continuing, he said, “This whole thing is a lot like God’s reaction to me when all I want to do is talk, telling Him what is on my mind, rather than listening to what He has to say.”
“Do you think God gets tired of being interrupted?” I asked.
“I do,” Stan replied. “However, I also think, and am thankful, that He is not like I am. He is not going to avoid me because I am always interrupting Him when He is trying to tell me something.”
Continuing, he said, “But I do think God probably says under His breath, ‘Will Stan ever stop interrupting Me? Won’t that guy ever learn that what I have to say is a lot more important than what he wants to tell me?’”
“It’s like God is thinking that He already knows what’s on my mind and heart, but that I do not know what is on His. He is trying to tell me, but He can’t because I am constantly interrupting Him.”
Continuing, Stan said, “James’ letter in the Bible addresses this. James was writing to fellow believers, giving them some advice about being quick to hear and slow to speak, but I think what James wrote can also be viewed as a letter from God to me about hearing and speaking.”
“How so?” I asked.
“I think that God wants me to be quick, very quick, in hearing what He has to say to me. And He wants me to be slow, very slow, in interrupting Him when He is talking to me.”
This you know, my beloved brethren. But let every one be quick to hear, slow to speak. James 1:19.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want to speak to me through your word and through the indwelling Holy Spirit. I confess that too often I am slow to hear what you have to say. Also, I am too quick to interrupt you by wanting to tell you what is on my mind and heart, rather than listening to what is on yours. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following your lead in being quick to hear and to obey all you have for me, while being slow to speak in ways that interrupt what you have to say. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.