"So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." James 1:19
Every road we drive on has a posted speed limit. It's there to keep us and others safe and accident free. If you have ever drove on the German Autobahn there isn't a speed limit in certain places. It's a place where you can't drive slow. However, with God speed is not always a requirement in this life.
We must be slow to speak, thinking first. We violate this principle often with our quick responses. It sometimes causes us to retract what we say. We also must be slow to become angry. Our anger usually exposes the weaknesses in us, not the shortcomings of another. Anger has a tendency to over-look the original error and turn startled faces in our direction.
To help us slow down, God tells us to listen at the outset, which gives us a full understanding of other people's circumstances. When we know what others are facing, trying to say, or get off their chest, we are more likely to respond with compassion - which may mean saying nothing at all. If we open our hearts and ears to not just hear, but listen, then it can be a learning experience.
Remember, you can't learn anything if you are talking. Only when you are listening.
"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his step."
We all have dreams and goals even from when we were children. You wanted to grow up to be something, achieve something, so you go to school, take steps and measures to do this, but it seems the end result doesn't match our dream and vision.
Solomon noticed a very similar circumstance in life. By nature, we are planners. We are after all, created by God who is the master planner and designer of the universe and everything in it. He has made us an intelligent being created in His image. We think, plan and dream. Yet none of this removes God from His sovereign position. Even with King Solomon's great wisdom, he observed that his plans were not all universally full of success. He recognized that God knew better and sometimes he even changed the king's finest plans.
Just as if your first shot in some sport doesn't hit the target/bullseye you don't quit the sport. You work harder at it the next time. It should be the same way with our relationship and plans for our life. Always remember God wants the best for us, and if you think your life plans have collapsed align your heart with His. When you do this His will and perfect plan that you both desire start to come to life and it will flourish like a butterfly fresh out of the cocoon.
Don't give up! Align your plans with His and it will increase your fullness in Him!
Pastor Michael Garcia
Overseer and Pastor at First Assembly HOEN