Often as women’s leaders, we are so busy about the tasks, that we don’t always stop to listen before we speak and get angry. I am sure that doesn’t describe you, but I know it does me. Dawn Stephens, Associate Minister of Local Disciplemaking and Women’s Small Groups at in Birmingham, Alabama, writes some great thoughts for us to consider as we lead teams and minister to many women in our church and community.
As I have been brought back to the book of James, several times lately, I have had the opportunity to read James 1:19 and really ask God what does it mean for me.
“My dear brothers, take note of this, everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
Here are some thoughts He is teaching me, I’d like to pass onto you:
How do I become “quick” to listen?
Is it by daily asking God to help me put aside the distractions of this crazy, media, internet fueled culture so my mind is clear to recognize the need to listen?
Is it by taking daily time for solitude and silence so I know when I “hear” His voice which trains me to be a better listener to the voices of others?
Is it asking my spouse and child questions that force me to listen to their current struggles, needs, questions and celebrations of daily life?
Is it being much more intentional to give focused time to people in whatever conversations come my way each day?
I think it is all these things……..
How do I become slow to speak?
Is it by measuring every word that I use in a conversation to ensure that it is accurate, edifying and appropriate?
Is it by thinking of the one I am talking to first instead of “my thoughts and perspectives” on the topic at hand?
Is it asking questions that help me better understand my friend and their need to be heard?
Is it not talking during the conversation and doing more listening?
How do I become slow to become angry?
Is it asking God daily to help me not jump to my conclusions and opinions?
Is it asking God daily to help me always see the other person’s side of the coin first before mine?
Is it asking God to help me quickly discern areas of unforgiveness in my life before they become a root of bitterness and a place of constant unresolved anger?
These are just some questions that I have been asking myself that you might also ask yourself and see what God reveals from His Word to you, his child……………………..
Dawn has been involved in women’s ministry in both volunteer and staff positions for many years. She is the Associate Minister of Local Disciplemaking and Women’s Small Groups at The Church at Brook Hills, in Birmingham, Alabama. Her desire is to train, equip and encourage women to use their God given gifts and abilities to show Christ’s love and grace to our world. She graduated from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Women’s Ministry certificate program, has served on the Alabama Baptist State Women’s Ministry leadership team, and serves as a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. In addition to her work at LifeWay, Christina serves as a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. She is a member of Simeon Baptist Church in Antioch where she teaches Sunday school and provides training for staff and ministry leaders. She is also pursuing a doctorate in Christian Education and Leadership at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She has a passion for discipleship that leads to spiritual transformation, and helping others experience God in their hearts and lives.