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My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen. James 1:19a

Read: James 1:19
Listen: James 1


James writes to the early church which is scattered due to persecution. He’s sharing what real religion looks like—a life shaped by belief in Jesus. His readers have fled their homelands. They know the need to be heard and understood during grief, pain and suffering. It’s in this environment that James calls them to listen. Listening requires humbly valuing another’s story, pain and perspective before responding or reacting.

We often struggle to listen to one another. We might not be speaking, but that doesn’t mean we are listening. We may be forming a response or rebuttal and not truly hear someone. Listening requires intention. It might involve starting a conversation and asking questions. When we listen well, we are caring well. It’s treating someone the way we want to be treated, which is Jesus tells us to do (Matthew 7:12). Listening well also shapes our responses. As we pause to hear the other person, we can also invite God to shape our words and actions through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.

TODAY: Be an intentional listener. Throughout your day, ask God to help you not interrupt others but instead ask questions and gain understanding. Ask God to show you who needs someone to listen to them and then start a conversation.


Read Luke 16. Highlight anything that refers to the Old Testament and how Jesus fulfills it.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.