Have you ever been quick to respond / teach someone? Maybe your the expert at a certain topic and you see someone teaching this topic in a different way than you would? What's your first reaction? Sit and listen or jump in and take over? More often then not we want to jump in versus sitting and listening.
I will attest to this. In my younger years, I would jump in and tell someone they were wrong and this is the way to do it. Then, a gentlemen told me about the 24 hour rule.
The 24 hour rule states that you must refrain from responding for 24 hours. Now I'm not talking about everyday topics, but topics that really get your feathers ruffled. Next time someone gets under your skin, give the 24 hour rule a try. Wait 24 hours before responding and then compare how you felt at the moment of finding out this information to how you feel 24 hours later. Chances are you might learn something about the situations leading you to not be so flustered.
James starts off with yet another warning for living out our faith:
James 3:1 "Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends."
Interesting that James would tell us not to rush into teaching when the book of James is about living out our faith. But, when we look deeper into James 3:1 we see that living out our faith is more then teaching people. It means living well and living wisely (James 3:13-16). In other words, our actions allow us to show people what God's love, grace, and understanding looks like.
So, what does this look like? We hit on the 3 L's (Listen | Learn | Love) in James 1 - Faith Under Pressure
The 3 L's remind us to:
Listen first - much in the same way that God listens to our prayers
Learn from the people we are listening to - again God learns about our struggles, frustrations, praises, etc. from listening to our prayers.
Love or guide them from what you've listened and learned - God already knows our prayers, but he wants to listen - or hear - from us so he can learn more about us and properly guide us. Without the proper information
All of this to will allow you to live well and wisely. Without the proper information, how can we effectively teach? This is why James is again giving us a warning to not rush into teaching. Everyone is at different walks in their relationship with the Lord. Some are far from it, some are brand new, and some are seasoned vets, but we have to Listen and Learn first before we can properly teach or Love.
Thanks and God Bless!
I chose this picture because it represents the action of the 3 L's. On the trail you get to Listen, Learn, and Love those you ride with.