This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 NASB)
I am seeing with my sin of bitterness, I struggle in misinterpreting what people are actually saying. A friend of mine made a statement about another friend; I thought that my friend was attacking me. I immediately began to place judgments upon this individual while never asking the person why they said what they said. I will claim I hear what he said, but I didn’t. Instead I fed my mind with bitter thoughts and concluded the individual was wrong in the matter. So how do I understand what people are really saying?
Let me first say understanding someone is not being able to repeat what a person is saying in order to refute them. No understanding someone is being quick to hear, SLOW to speak and slow to anger. Bitterness prides itself off mastering the argument. Bitterness will say “I understand what your saying BUT” (which means you just have cut off from understanding what that person is saying as important). A bitter person will master how to win an argument with someone by controlling the argument. A bitter person will go off subject, or refute harshly what he/she considers direct attacks against them; which is only fueling a person’s bitterness. What is the remedy for this? Is their a solution?
Before examining the above text we must have an attitude that is of Jesus Christ. We must be others focused (Philippians 2:3). Then we can obey the process of quickly hearing, slowly speaking and slowly becoming angry. To eradicate bitterness, hear a person as quick as possible. Try not to speak to much; only ask questions that will help you understand what they are saying. Don’t be so quick to respond with your opinion. In fact, responding quickly only fuels more bitterness (Proverbs 18:13). No, it is better to hear the matter or the whole counsel, weigh it by God’s Word and then respond in meekness and gentleness.
To deal with bitterness wisely, follow the scriptures. Bitterness must be put off. Attain to hear a person and understand what they are saying. Don’t try to speak so fast even if it is burning your tongue. Be humble and wait, so you do not put on more seeds of bitterness. The scripture below, stresses this importance. God bless.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:29-32)