The following is an updated version of a MCM published some time ago
Sometimes we need a mind change to overcome a challenging circumstance like an illness or a loss. Sometimes we need a mind change to overcome an obstacle that could stop a good work. But very often we need a mind change because our minds are leading us to some wrong behavior.
James writes: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” (James 1:19).
There are certain hot button issues in our world today. People who take the Bible seriously are often known for their quick response in some of these cases. Gay marriage comes to mind, or even same-sex attraction. Gun control is another one. You could add patriotism, the military, and, of course, politics to the list. At the present moment, the phrase “black lives matter” is another.
Contrary to the words of James, Christians are often seen as those who are quick to speak, quick to become angry and prone to listen very little to those who disagree with them. It seems that some believers model their communication on the talkers on the cable news channels more than on the teachings of Scripture. In this time of bruising social discourse, we need the words from James.
It is possible that some now reading this have already stopped listening? They may have decided this is a call to compromise and are forming their own response. Please wait. This is not a call to appeasement but to relationship building. If we would listen to those we don’t understand, we would communicate to other people that we value them. Such listening will mean in some cases that we will learn some things we didn’t know, and in all cases, it will show the other person that we love them. Sometimes an open ear is more powerful than an open mouth. Surely, that is a bridge over which truth is much more likely to pass. Sometimes, the reputation of Bible believers needs to be changed.