My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19 NIV
Janice and I took line dancing classes with our friends Nadean and John about twenty-five years ago. Admittedly, although I am uncoordinated and have little sense of rhythm, I still found the lessons fun. Each dance had different steps and tempo. For example, the Texas Two-Step had a quick-quick-slow-slow pace. These steps must be done in sequence to be done correctly, and when executed properly, it appears smooth and graceful.
Today's lesson from James has a rhythm of quick-slow-slow, which, if followed in sequence, reflects a different kind of grace. The grace of God within us. The first step, being quick to listen, is of primary purpose–it is the crucial beginning. If we miss that step, it changes the tempo and makes it a different dance. We may still be slow to speak and to anger; however, if we fail to hear and understand, we will likely talk and act without context. In being quick to listen, we can appreciate the situation before our next steps–we are leading with our right foot.
God, of the dance of life, please help us in the quick-slow-slow of your grace. Be with us in the listening, in the speaking, and our responding. May all we do glorify you. Amen.
Originally posted as the "Texas Two-Step" on October 23, 2021