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Listening to One Another

In an earlier post I mentioned that a first meaning of words translated “obey” in the Bible is “to listen” and “to be attentive, as one listening for a knock at the door.”

As I’ve  thought about the relationship between listening and obeying, I’ve  imagined hearing a knock at the door in the middle of the night and hearing someone ordering me to”open the door!”

The possible scenarios on the other side of that door are important to think about.

I’ve also mentioned that, when trying to listen to what others are saying about the Bible,  it has been helpful  for me to think in terms of whether implications being claimed for the Scriptures are (1) necessary, (2) probable, (3) possible, (4) improbable, or (5) impossible implications.

Together we’ve seen on any number of subjects that we have found strong unity on issues whenever we have been able to agree on a necessary implication of the Bible.

In that light, I thought it might be interesting to take a single text and think about the different kinds of implications that can be drawn from it.

For example, from the New Testament letter of James:

My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19).

Taking into consideration the context in which this is found, what are some possible, necessary, and impossible implications of this text?

For example: What if I said with an authoritative tone:

“One implication of this text is that, in any given conversation, a follower of Jesus should never be the first to speak?”

Or, “One implication of this text is that we should always speak at a slow pace, pausing between phrases, drawing out our words so that our mouth doesn’t get ahead of our mind?”

Or, “Here an Apostle of Jesus means that  in any conversation we are probably going to  find something that will anger us!”

Or, “We need to listen carefully so that, if we hear anything that we recognize as the word of God, we can respond to what he  is asking of us.”

Can you see why it is so important to test our assumptions when we are trying to come together around the ideas that can so easily separate us from one another, from the church, and from our neighbors?

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54 Responses to “Listening to One Another”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart, since we realy never get to hear the tone of someones voice nor see the expressions on each face, we are left to the words to speak for themselves. That can be very misleading at times. Here on the blog.

    Most parents of more than one child can understand, urging their arguing children to take a time out. This simple action can defuse a disagreement and cool things off….sometimes. Sometimes not.

    We are a very diverse gathering of people, race, gender,nationality, we come from all different circumstances. It would stand to reason we are going to disagree on many levels only because we are going to see matters from different angles.

    If we take the view of my way or the highway. There is no room for discussion, no room for free expression, no chance to learn.

    The older I get the more I understand a quiet response or sometimes no response at all. Patient listening and a slow response is always the best course.

    There are also hot button issues with each individual. Sometimes when we step on someones toes, it can bring up anger. I have learned that anger begets anger. and so my statement of a “time out” comes in to play.

    I know I can be bull headed at times. So please let me appoligize first of all to you Mart. This is your site and without your effort there is no blog. If my confidence in any way comes accross as arrogance I appologize. If I have offended any it has been unintentional. I thank all who have had the patience to listen to me.

    This morning is already becoming too busy for me for even this simple task….See you all later in the day.


  2. godsteddybear says:

    I enjoy growing older, for with age comes wisdom (for me anyway). I liked Steve’s comment about “The older I get the more I understand a quiet response or sometimes no response at all. Patient listening and a slow response is always the best course”.

    Unfortunately, my tongue has been one of my worst enemies. This scripture tells me to talk less, listen more and have patience with whomever I am speaking with. That goes along with the fruits of the spirit too. We are supposed be patient, peaceful and loving (not that I always manage to be a fruitbearer).

    Hm, ironic, as I was thinking about this, a member of my family came to mind. Actually two of them (both christians), who are slow to speak. However, what ends up happening is it appears they are being silently judgemental. Their non-response to what is being said seems to be out of not agreeing and you can almost hear their non-audible response. I have guessed that they believe they are doing others a favor by not speaking out. What ends up happening though is they do talk at other times and with enthusiasm if it is something they like, thereby causing the questions posed in their quiet times. I don’t ever want to be that kind of person either. That bothers me so I know I don’t want to do it to someone else.

    Sorry jumped track there. Anyway, I do understand that all scriptures can be interpreted differently and we are all unique individuals. God is the one who made us that way. I have no problem with discussing a scripture if someone doesn’t agree with what I think it says. I have often learned a lot more than I thought I knew by listening to others conclusions. What I don’t like and won’t get involved in is the back and forth argueing and throwing scripture for scripture at one another. As someone mentioned yesterday, there are plenty of places on the net to that if you just enjoy controversy. Some say they have an obligation to tell others the truth of the Word. Well I believe that we do but are we telling our truth or Gods? I tend to lean more towards “don’t cast your pearls before swine” and stay out of the arguements. I am talking specifically about those who throw scriptures and their own opinions about them. I am in no way indicating that I refuse to listen to what anyone else has to say when they are talking with Godly love and wisdom.

    My two cents for this morning :-) Have a great day everyone.

    Gods Teddy

  3. Called2Serve says:

    Hey! I am a new commenter on this blog, however, I have been reading the posts and comments for quite some time. I felt as if I should share my opinion this morning.

    My opinion on the “slow to speak” part of this verse is not any of the opinions stated in blog. I think slow to speak has little to do with actually speaking, but more with thinking before you speak.

    I believe every statement in this verse is about listening to others’ opinions with an open mind and carefully considering what they are saying before you share your standpoint. And, importantly, not letting their opinion offend them in any way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whether they are right or wrong.

    This brings to mind the ordeal with the Miss America pageant. Miss California had made a statement about the gay community, and people around America were quick to speak, instead of allowing her to have her own opinion. I think if America had the mindset of this verse, being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, this problem would not even come about.

    Just my opinion! =]


  4. mtman says:

    As Godsteddybear says, with age generally comes wisdom. Or at least experience. I think many times we listen but really don’t hear. I still struggle with this. Everyone wants to make their point sometines to the exclusion of someone else. As I posted yesterday I think being challenged on what I believe is rewarding. A good exchange of thoughts can be good and healthy for us. I may not agree in whole with some but I don’t think to disagree in part diminishes either of us as Christians. Sometimes we just have to decide we can not agree and go on from there. We don’t all have web cams so when I say something with a smile on my face those who read it may not see the humor.
    Mart De Haan has created a valuable blog here where we can exchange ideas and thoughts. Regretfully it is not perfect because we can only post words which may be interpeted differently. We can challenge each other in a loving way however and don’t always have to be in lock step with each other one every issue..
    Who isn’t quick to speak? We all do that I expect. To lay back isn’t always right either. Some simply like to get the last word in and state it with authority so it diminishes what others have been debating up to that point. That isn’t right either and constitutes nothing more than a cheap shot. I think a valuable part of communications is that once you realize you may have stepped over that imaginary line to admit you may have spoken to quick or inappropriately. But to let it hang is not right and leaves others angry and frustrated. Is there one person reading this that says the right thing at the right time 100% of the time. Not me for sure and if anyone says that they do you’ll have to excuse me for not believing you. I for one do not post comments/thought to aggrivate of offend anyone and if I have I appologize.

  5. pegramsdell says:

    Wow….such wisdom with whats already been posted. :)
    I also feel that I need to be more careful about speaking before thinking it through. Good lesson for me. I have always been quick to speak and it’s gotten me in a lot of trouble.
    Slow to get angry…..I’ve gotta work on that too. And really listening (paying attention) to what someone is saying, yes, I need help there too.

  6. laney says:

    I agree with called 2 serve that slow to speak has more to do with thinking before one speaks.How many times have we said something in haste and regretted our words.We wish we could take them back but the damage is already been done.No wonder the Bible has so much to say about the tongue.I remember one time in church after the pastors sermon I had some questions.I asked them to the woman sitting next to me.Boy was that a mistake.Talk about not thinking before you speak.She started yelling at me what are you stupid weren’t you listening to what he was saying.People turned around and were looking at me.I was so humilated.I ended up in the ladies room crying vowing never to come back to this church again.I thought who needs this my un saved friends never treated me this way.If this is how so called christians behave and treat each other leave me out Idon’t want any part of this.When I did finally calm down I thought no I would only be hurting myself by not coming to church.Unfortunately this woman is still this way.I don’t think she even realises how much hurt she causes people sometimes.We all need to remember to be slow to speak.One thing I can say everyone here seems to be respectful to one another on our differences of opinions on what is being discussed here.

  7. pegramsdell says:

    Good for you Laney to stay in that church. And shame on that lady. She was the one in the wrong. She must not be paying attention to the sermons. :)

  8. daisymarygoldr says:

    I like challenging exercises and this is a very good one! I can see the importance of the point you are trying to make. It is true that we can derive several different implications from the same Bible text. That is the very beauty of God’s Word… it is a mine that knows no depths. For ex. “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19) holds a completely different implication for me.

    If we consider the whole context of this chapter, James is telling us that we should consider it a joy when our faith is tested, that we must patiently endure testing and temptation and that the only way we can avoid being enticed by sinful desires is to “obey” God’s true Word.

    Therefore, in v 19 James exhorts followers of Christ to be quick to listen to God’s Word, slow to speak out against God’s truth and if His truth hurts or offends, we should be slow to get angry with God. If we get mad at God our actions will not be right in His eyes… i.e. our anger will not produce the righteousness God desires.

    James goes on to say, we should humbly accept the word God … for it has the power to save our souls. We should not just listen to God’s word but we should also “obey”… or do what it says.

    So, please tell me how I should test the above assumption. Personally, I feel that this assumption will not separate but it will only serve to draw us closer to grow together in Christ.

    Regardless of differences in language, age, race, gender or background followers of Christ will not differ in their ideas. The reason being… It is the same Word of God and God gives His wisdom generously to all… and if all have the discerning of the same Holy Spirit, no matter how different the implications, there will be no issue that will separate us from one another… that is my firm belief…not opinion. I have experienced it right here on this blog site!

  9. daisymarygoldr says:

    I’m missing gr8grannyjacobs, sitsathisfeet, Claudia, chfranke, Michael, sjd… Just wanted to let you know that you are in my daily prayers:) Hope everything is fine at your end…

  10. poohpity says:

    To me being slow to speak means to look around and consider that I do not know everything about the person who is speaking and what they have gone through. If I am slow to speak then my listening then becomes active, evaluating, and understanding. People always have hidden things about them but if you are open to truly listening you are able to see those things. Then it is easier to evaluate what to say to benefit them, not myself to boost my ego. With all that time thinking about what would benefit that person then it will result in being slow to get angry and help in understanding or empathy.

    I really like being able to type things and then reread because your mouth would drop if I hit the send button sometimes before I considered exactly what I was saying. This is helping me to think before I speak because our words need to be a fragrant balm of healing. My words sometimes are a bomb that would blast someone into pieces, so this helps me to walk away and consider what I am saying whether it is beneficial to someone or to boost my pride. I do have to tell you I have hit send to fast sometimes. lol But I strive for progress not perfection. :)

  11. GeeTee says:

    When the smoke cleared and the dust settled there we were. Still standing. With a better understanding of one anothers’ beliefs. We hear each other out. We process what’s been presented. We ponder how we’ll express our point-of view. To pluck a few words out; “I believed, therefore I spoke”, Ps116:10 IICor4:13. As human beings we can be slow to listen and quick to speak all too easily. There are times in our lives where it’s better to bite our tongue and say nothing, and we may find ourselves doing this to the detriment of involved parties. Is this always a good thing? Or do we do it to be politically correct? What exactly is our motivation to stand idly by and say nothing about what we disagree with? “Oh, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” Puh-leeze! I, as a born again Christian am required to make a stand for what I know to be true. Did our Lord stand idly by while scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees corrupted the Word with their biased interpretations and unable to bear burdens? Or was His indignation well-founded? I believe His castigations and pronoucements were more than just. Sometimes forbearance has to cease and we must speak out. Being impulsive simply to be mean serves no one well and only causes harm. In the world two lawyers lock horns in court like the fiercest of enemies and argue the finer points like nobody knows but them. But when litigations are over they meet outside like the friends in the brotherhood they are. Are we not different than worldly lawyers? Yeah we are. James put it down right, he did. That old ‘MaritalAuthority’ thing never fails to get it goin’, doesn’t it. And then one thing leads to another and next thing you know the referee has to step in. But that’s more than okay…it’s alright. There’s no way in the world that I let something we disagree on change the way I feel or believe about what I know to be true. The old sticks and stones thing. It’s a comfort to know that people are concerned and care about one another, and that we don’t let petty indifferences affect our love for each other. One big happy family we are. Now, if we could just be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to anger like we’re ‘posed to, it’d be a better place. We struggle. Afternoon, y’all GT

  12. poohpity says:

    I know I have a lot of time on this computer lately because my knee pain holds me in my apartment and am feeling a little nervous about my knee surgery tomorrow but this to shall pass. This pain also causes me to be grumpy to say the lest.

    Anyway I really felt all alone while talking about the Trinity in the last post and was wondering why more did not chime in??? If we are to stand up for our beliefs was it because I was off topic?? I am confused. Like GT said there are times to speak little and listen much, so when is it a good time to speak up for our beliefs??

  13. Rick123 says:

    GeeTee: Sir, ok lets crack the nut: The only woman I see that could exceed the virtuous woman, is the mother of Jesus-Mary.
    (Don’t you think that Mary exceeded the virtuous woman?)

    She was a great woman, for she saw her Son, our Savior, grow from a little tree to a huge powerful tree, mighty in the power of the LORD God of Israel.
    (Don’t you think that Mary saw her new born Son grow up to be a strong man of God and full of the Holy Spirit?)

    The sword pierced her heart at the foot of the Cross of her beloved Son. Great was her sorrow, seeing her Only Son, a unique Son, her firstborn(firstson) being delivered up for her(Mary) sins.(Don’t you think that while Mary was seeing her Son die on the Cross, her heart was being pierced by a sword of great sorrow? Don’t you think that it never crossed Mary’s mind, that her Son was dying for her sins?)

    Yes, the Only Son, dying for the sins of her beloved mother-Mary. What mother is there like her? that could have gone, what Mary went through. Knowing that her Only Son was dying for all her sins, and was taking upon himself(Christ) the wrath that was upon his mother from God his Father.(Don’t you think that Jesus died for the sins of her mother-Mary? Don’t you think that Jesus took her place(Wrath of God) on the Cross?)

    Truly Mary was a unique woman, blessed are you among woman, for she carried in her womb our salvation, and the salvation for herself.(Don’t you think that Mary was and is the most blessed woman to ever be born, in that she was blessed to carry our Lord and and Savior Jesus Christ in her womb for about nine months?)

    Her Savior became one flesh with her in her womb, therefore she is the greatest woman ever born on earth.
    (Don’t you think that Mary’s “egg” was fertilized by the “seed”(Word) of the Holy Spirit which proceeds from the Most High(Father), and the “word” became flesh.)

    Now Mary said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, He shall be called the Savior, because he was taken out of woman.(Don’t you think that after fertilization took place in Mary’s womb, God’s word was becoming flesh from the flesh of Mary and bones of Mary’s bone?)

    Eph 5:30 For we(Saints in Christ) are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.(Since we all come from the flesh and bones of “Adam,” so did Mary come from the flesh and bones of “Adam.” And Jesus came from the flesh and bones of Mary(Adam), “so that means that we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

    Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

    Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    But you are he that took me out of the womb, you did make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

    I was cast upon you from the womb, you are my God from my mother’s belly, but a body have you prepared me:

    Holy Holy Holy is the LORD God Almighty, who was and ever will be, begot the Son of Mary.

    Blessed be Mary, who conceived the Son of the LORD God of Israel.

    Worthy Worthy Worthy is the Lamb, who came out from the heavenly Father, and from the womb of Mary, his mother.

  14. pegramsdell says:

    Mary was a vessel that God used to bring His Son into the world. A virgin. She was called blessed among women. That is all true. However, God has also planted His Seed in all of us who believe in Him. We are all vessels for The Lord Jesus. And we are blessed as well. However, Jesus was perfect, not Mary. Jesus died for me to be forgiven of my sin, not Mary. God, The Father, Jesus, The Son and The Holy Spirit. The Blessed Trinity.

  15. mtman says:

    I think that Pooh has made a point and by way of an answer I can say that I didn’t get into the challenges set forth by GT and Rick123 because I thought it was pretty much being covered by both very well and neither seemed to need outside help. In short I was happy to be a spectator. My experience is that when two people have differences that they are able to resolve them without me putting my two cents in. Do I agree with Rick123 on the Holy Spirit, no I don’t but much of what he has written in the past is excellent and i find no disagreement with. Much of it I sometimes don’t understand but it puts me back in my bible looking for answers. Nothing wrong with that at all.
    Do I agree with GT on everything – yeah pretty much because he too makes some excellent points. That doesn’t mean I’m threatened by Rick123 at all. He forces me to do some much needed research to support my belief. In the end I don’t think either GT or Rick123 will convince the other but my experience tells me to let this debate run its course without my input. Its healthy, refreshing, and articulated well. After all we are not choosing up sides here, we are being challenged by varing opinions and from that we all gain. If I don’t agree with Rick123 completely does that mean I tell him so? No it doesn’t because he has had some excellent posts and I can decide that we just won’t agree on everything and let it go at that. I personally think that this is a very healthy exchange for all of us. Besides I think GT is doing a very good job and so is Rick123. I don’t always agree with other posts on here but sometimes I agree in part and disagree in part. That is what I wrote yesterday to a poster. I think that is healthy and inspiring. I don’t see either of these guys disrespecting each other. My hope would be when this debate between them is over that they will be able to say to each other that they may not agree but still love each other as Christian brothers. Personally I have gained much from their exchange and I want to thank them both for their contributions. Git r done guys…..

  16. mtman says:

    Pooh: I’m sorry for your knee pain and have experienced it myself frequently. I hope yours becomes better soon. My knees hurt but it because I just came in from cutting down three trees and cleaning up. Living in the mountains the work is never done. Don’t get grumpy because you have such a delightful outlook and attitude.

  17. pegramsdell says:

    Pain can cause grumpiness. It’s a given. Hopefully the surgery will take care of that. I’ll be praying for you Deb. :)

  18. laney says:

    Poohpity, so sorry about your knee.I will keep you in prayer for you up coming surgery tomorrow.I agree with Mtman the lively talks about the trinity yesterday did not need any help.You guys and gal were doing fine without any help from the rest of us.I also don’t understand Rick or GeeTee sometimes but that is good they keep me on my toes.I’am learning alot from them.

    When everyone gets a chance go to Dean Ohlman site The wonder of Creation and check out This is my Fathers world and Creatures of our God and King.I think you will be blest.

  19. GeeTee says:

    Brothers and sisters; I left a post for Rick123 on the Marital Authority thread that can be viewed at your leisure. Let us be ever mindful of the others that read BTA and may be somewhat unlearned in what the Bible says. Conjecture is a not very good principle when it comes to the Holy Scripture. We have only been given the inspired text, and to variate on what’s been revealed to us as such, is poor witness. Am I wrong to think and feel this way? I don’t think so. Am I, or did I get angry? Will you stop it. I enjoy a healthy bout on the jousting ground as much as the next guy. So 123, we still both have our whatever it is we have intact. Spread the Word! GT

  20. GeeTee says:

    Rick123, my boy. The virtue of Mary is not to be debated. We only know that she bore the Christ. She was a sinner in need of a savior, just as we all are. “And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “”Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed You!”” But He said, “”More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.”” Luke11:27,28 Ephesians4:4 can figure in to that other little debate. Gotta class here in a bit, so I must remove myself from behind/infrontof this contraption. Peace. GT

  21. Laurielee says:

    What an interesting day that I almost missed!
    First of all, be better, Pooh! I, too, miss all those Daisy mentioned above…I also want you ALL to know that you’re in my prayers every day.

    My daughter & I were talking about this subject not long ago. Regardless of the way you look at it, it’s very good advice, and one that tends to bite me sometimes. I find that the answer I come up with quickly is usually not the same answer I’d give if I mulled it over or slept on it. How many answers have we (I) given in frustration? How many conversations have we had in which the right answer came to us once we’d left the room?

    GeeTee & Rick, I went back and read your very interesting exchange and had a couple thoughts I’d like to add. Though I consider myself non-denominational, I was baptized initially in a Church of Christ (traditional, not United). The reason I say this is because I was taught to test EVERYTHING against the Scriptures. To emmulate the Bereans in their listening and studying habits. I was taught that WHATEVER you hear, make sure to test it against what the Scriptures have to say so you won’t be led into false teachings or into following Man instead of G-d. To be honest, the things I hear a man say, then check against Scripture, are the things that tend to confuse me. I was taught that if you read a verse, you should read the whole chapter in order to not take things out of context. Is what you’re practicing Bible-based, or the tradition of Men? Who do you pray to? Do you pray to the Father through Jesus, as we were taught? Or do you pray to someone, though righteous, who was simply human? I remember asking a certain religious teacher many questions one time about why things were done a particular way, and every answer was, “Because it’s tradition.” Do we put more emphasis on “tradition” or the G-d breathed Scripture? We should prove everything by G-d’s Word, not Man’s word. Just some thoughts… :D

  22. sjd says:

    daisymarygold, thanks for your prayers. Life has been a little overwhelming lately with responsibilities and I have been choosing to be “quick to read” and also “slow to write”:). I have been trying to keep up with reading the posts and have for the most part been enjoying them as usual, but get to them late and just have to choose to be quiet till I have some more time.

    poohpity, Been praying for you tonight. Look forward to hearing how the surgery goes! I appreciate your concern over the Deity of Christ. It is huge. I believe as you, that Mary was “kissing the face of God”. I understand how many deny the Deity of Christ by many of the verses that have been used in the discussion. But, when looking at the life of Christ, His activities, (forgiveness, creation, among others) His statements “Before Abraham was, I AM”, “I and the Father are one”, and many others, the response of the Pharisees to His statements(they knew exactly what He was implying, that is why they were ready to kill Him), the lack of Jesus’ response to the disciples statements that He was God, John’s clear description of the Word in John 1, numerous other statements by the writer of Hebrews of Jesus being the exact representation of His nature, and by Paul in Philippians, being in the very essence God, as well as descriptions of Jesus in Revelation among many others we have clear representations of Jesus being the Eternal Son of God. Can’t comprehend the Eternal Fellowship, but I can’t deny Scriptures teaching of Jesus being God becoming flesh. Beyond that the only perfect sacrifice for our sin could only be accomplished by a perfect sacrifice, God Himself. Only God can be my sufficiency, my Life, my Bread, my Living Water, no created being.

    Each of us must be in the Scripture, and I appreciate as usual those involved in this blog, that cause me to be drawn back to the Word, both the Word Incarnate, and the living written Word. Hopefully we will be able to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.

    Now getting back to the verse. Could it mean that we are to be eager to “sit at the feet of our Lord”, listening to His Word, growing in knowledge, and not too quick to become teachers as noted in chapter 3:1, and not too quick to become angry at those unbelievers that are within the “church” that are mentioned in chapter 4?

    Praying for you all tonight!

    Mart, thanks for making us think, and be careful before we speak! Hope I was careful enough.

  23. GeeTee says:

    One last time Rick123. The bone to pick is your “Now Mary said……..” The Holy Scripture says nothing of the like. Where exactly you came across those words has no foundation whatsoever. Anywhere. For you to present words or phrases that appear to be scriptural in the method and form you present them gives the false impression to someone that knows no better that they ‘are’ scriptural. And I believe you know they aren’t, but in order to give the impression that you’re on to some new revelation, or whatever it is you think you’re on to, you lay it all out there. To someone that knows scripture(and I do), it comes across as “pseudo-scriptural, psychobabble mess”. Your parenthetical, “Dont you think that Mary saw her son grow up to be a strong ‘man of God’ and full of the Holy Spirit?” As a matter of fact, I don’t. She saw Him for who He was. The God/Man. Not a strong ‘man of God’. The rest of your post is “wild ideas”/imaginations in your comments right down the line. Bar none. It matters not if there’s 38zillion denominations in Christianity. My point is that you, my friend, don’t know what you’re talking about, and you would fare well to keep your wild ideas and imaginations to yourself. You display a complete lack of biblical knowledge that borders on the absurd. Extrapolation and conjecture. You take what’s in front of you and draw conclusion that makes no sense. I propose a truce. We’re at stalemate and to proceed would be unprofitable for us all. Perhaps good clean entertainment for the bystanders, but serves no purpose. It was sweet…..but incomplete. Peace, Rick123. I love you brother. GT

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Mart please, use the blue pencil and relieve us of joining into a melee.

    At this point I am left to believe that Rick123’s purpose is to create and continue to sew discord and strife in the blog.


  25. bretnb says:

    I don’t blog here all the time but I am with SFDBWV. I am having a tuff time following Rick 123. I think that may be he needs to be quick to read (listen) and slow to type (speak)

    I know i need to be slow to talk lots of time my self.

  26. Mart De Haan says:

    OK, I hear you. Let’s get on subject.

    What about sjd’s take on an implication of the James text?

  27. Rick123 says:

    Jhn 5:41 I receive not honour from men.

    Jhn 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only.

  28. pegramsdell says:

    What concerns me is that when I speak sometimes it comes out all wrong. And I know that the words I speak were in my heart. I need a heart cleaning for sure. I suppose I allow evil thoughts into my heart by the things I hear and see and then they come out of my mouth at the worst times. James had it going on.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Believe it or not, when I was a young man I almost never joined in conversations. I mostly just listened. As I knew in my heart I didn’t know enough to either chalange or contribute much. So I listened more than I spoke.

    I don’t know how many of you have ever sat up on a stool at the local beer joint and listened to the conversations that go up and down the bar. But they range from the deepest of religious subjects to politics and the philosophy of life.

    The matter being that from thoes early days of my life I learned that many people have a heart to share of lifes experiances. That they need a opporturity to express themselves and have their say. I still to this day refer to some discussions as “bar room philosophy”. For me that means the uninformed ramblings of people who just like to hear themselves talk.

    My point being, that there is a large difference between co-joining into a discussion and exchange of ideas with an open mind and courteous respect for each other, and listening to the ramblings of “bar room philosophers”.

    One of the greatest gifts the Holy Spirit can impart to us, I think, is the gift of discernment. When we read or listen to another concerning matters of the faith, the Holy Spirit will bear witness of Himself and we can recognize Him in the words we hear or read. We can also sense the absence of His aknowledgement to the matter. If we are listening to Him.

    I like the story of Jesus as a young boy when he was seperated from His family and Mary and Joseph found Him teaching the elders in the Temple. These men recognized truth when they heard it and were amazed at the age of the young boy talking to them….We can recognize the voice of God but we have to be listening…not talking to do so.

    Rick123, I choose not to ignore you but rather to pray for you.


  30. Laurielee says:

    Welcome called2serve and teddybear! Praying for you today, pooh!

    Steve made me think of something…
    At the moment we’re talking we’re not learning anything…we can only learn when others speak. We can ask the questions, but then we have to be quiet to listen. I love my weekly trips to see my grandma at the nursing home. I love listening to the elders speaking. I’ve learned what it was like when many of them taught school and served the country. Sometimes when the elders talk and disapprove of something going on in the world today, rather than dismissing their ideas as old-fashioned, we could do very well to listen to them…they just might have a little more insight and wisdom in the situation.

  31. laney says:

    Did anyone get to check out Dean Ohlmans site wonder of creation.This is my Fathers world.

  32. mtman says:

    I was a change of life baby. Anyone in a similar situation knows that you are always around adults much older and the code word for me was that “I was to be seen and not heard”. My parents friends always thought I was a quiet child but back then corporal punishment was a very real thing. By listening you learn all kinds of things but being unable to question anything you hear make opinions iffy. Regretfully that carries over into adult life and to this day I don’t question people. If they volunteer information I hear but don’t question much. Hearing can be good and I have also learned to be able to also express myself. Living to be older does give one some experience that younger folks don’t yet realize. It also served me well in interrogations when I did criminal investigation.
    I enjoyed the exchange by our two posters but it did get a little out of hand towards the end. But there have been other exchanges on the headship issue that have equally gotten out of hand. I only contribute when I feel that I have something of value. I don’t feel when two people are going back and forth anything I would say would be of value. Besides I don’t want to choose sides. There is enough of that in about everything we encounter these days. I can tell you though it does compel me to dig into my bible for answers. Anytime that happens I think it is positive and good. To be honest if everyone agreed on this site it would be boring to me. Finally when you really hear what is being said first and mull it over you can give a more informed and proper answer. That is the one thing I learned very young. (Sometimes drives my wife crazy when I do that.) I always had plenty of mulling time. Yesterday I read the blog posts and then went out and thought about them while I worked on cutting down some trees and when I came back to the blog I had formulated some thoughts. Its only when someone hits a hot button subject for me that I may jump in without thinking first. Like the church leadership or the environment. Beyond that I try to seriously consider what I say and don’t feel the least bit threatned by what anyone else’s opinion may be, regardless of how well it is articulated. Doesn’t tht pretty much track with James?

  33. daisymarygoldr says:

    sjd, it’s a pleasure to hear from you again and as always you have delivered some good insights.

    You are right James is asking us to be eager to “sit at the feet of our Lord”, listening to His Word, growing in knowledge, and not too quick to become teachers as noted in chapter 3:1, and not too quick to become angry at those unbelievers.

    I thought that leaders were called to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom so that the church is enriched with the Word of God. Guess I had the wrong assumption of Col 3:16.

    Sorry, people for my emphasis on the urgency of teaching God’s word… I think we have to really be slow and Mart De Haan I apologize for pestering you to teach… now my eyes have opened and I see the need of the hour is for you to slow so those people who spread false teaching will get the opportunity to be quick in leading the flock away from the truth. Praying for all of us… to be quick to listen to God’s word and slow to speak/teach. Thank you sjd!

    Agree with Laney and Bob: Dean Ohlman does an awesome job at WOC and I greatly enjoy his works!

  34. GeeTee says:

    Ah yes, it’s great to be alive. This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. If our little tango these past few days has caused anyone anything uncomfortable, I’m sorry. Truly. I repent that I may have given the appearance of attempting to sow discord. Discord in the Body of Christ is something that will happen of its’ own accord, and God forbid that I would represent anything other than understanding and unity. I currently attend Cal State Bakersfield enrolled in the Substance Abuse Treatment studies program. The profession I pursue(counseling) revolves entirely around listening, processing information as it’s presented, affirming what’s positive, and eventually offering constructive feedback. It’s all too well-known in the counseling profession that there are incidents and times when your feedback isn’t received in an accepting way by the receiver. Attempts to defend and rationalize and justify behaviors that are problematic can be manifold. We listen to what’s presented, giving the client ample time to get it all on the table, and then we give assessment and evaluation as to what might be done. If they listen and hear our input and decide to react…well and good. If not? I tried. The client is in no position to try and convince the counselor that he(counselor) should do things his way. Last eve our instructor told a story of a woman she works with that wondered if she ever got angry? Instructor replied, “Well sure I get angry, but never at work.” Being an adopted son and child of the Living God I’m always at work. I might get mad if I stub my toe, but that lasts about a moment. Always maintaining the understanding that I’m an ambassador of Christ every minute of every day leaves me no time to clock out. I thank everyone for your patience for as long as it takes. GT

  35. poohpity says:

    If we had not listened carefully we would not be able to recognize false teaching because it can worm it’s way in ever so easily. Being slow to speak also gives us time to relate what we are going to say to scriptures teaching and not our own. Slow to become angry to see if our anger is righteous Jesus was angry but did not sin. When you have knowledge of scripture and see it being butchered I do not believe that is unrighteous anger but righteous anger. Being slow to speak sometimes, to me, is giving permission or validation that something is correct when it is not. So there are times to speak up, times to listen and times to become angry.

    For instance John 5:41 is Jesus (God/Man)Saying I do not accept praise from man, V42 but I know you, I know you do not have the love of God in your hearts. Something that one would try and apply to a humans (self) plight would not relate this scripture to themselves but ONLY to God. Taking any scripture out of context you totally loose it’s meaning.

    So we are also called iron sharping iron so that we may grow in our knowledge of God and His Word although it is for the Holy Spirit to guides us into truth.

    DMG if you saw that something was not correct then why on earth did you not say something and leave it to someone else to do? The pot calling the kettle black.

    For those of you that have said something to point out wrong thinking my hat is off to you and I pray for God’s blessing on you. I also thank all of you who are praying for my surgery today thank you, again.

  36. plumbape says:

    I’ve been listening…
    It seems I have went about things in life backwards in a way. I learned to to be quiet and pay attention to absolutely everything to survive. Steve you remind me of something, while I was on parole the last time I worked for a jukebox company by Chicago. The owner was on parole for income tax scam and trying to clean up what was basicly a front for a gambling operation. Go figure ;^) I actually did learn alot about coin operated machines though and shortly after that I was released from parole so I packed a bag and went to New Orleans. Anyway, I ending up on a job with a large company and started working the french quarter which was dangerous but for me it was a gas. Learned alot, saw alot mostly by listening. Learned not to show up in the deep south with license plates that say land of Lincoln…! oops, who knew, thought I was still in America. I went in Jazz Clubs, Country , Bikers, Disco, gay, cross dressers/trans something. The Silver Folics had a huge like person on a swing that moved in and out of the front. I sat in there for hours one nite stone cold sober listening to people, I was obviously not one of the regular crowd here but I was young and bold so someone would hit on me to try to embarass me I’d just come out of my prison bag back at them. I wasn’t the one that had something to be embarassed about and didn’t care if the whole bar knew it. After a brief exchange of honest opinons you might say I talked (listened mostly) to this lovely lady (I think) from NY city who had parents in government positions that were Christians and wealthy but some of the way out things that went on behind closed doors in the house in the name of the Lord mind you was twisted and sick. I think I might have helped a person that nite because she was amazed I didn’t judge what she did or have some selfish motive I was interested in the person only. I walked her to the car at 4am (bars never close) and I passed on the invitation but made a new frind. Oh yeah, she was definitely not a cross dresser,lol, but the folks in the bar didn’t know that so they left her alone, clever little lady. The world is full of opportuniy to listen and just offer a kind word or tell them what has worked in my life is Christ, or when all else fails go with the honest “I don’t know” and listen some more.
    In the prisons I could bore you to tears with the jail house philosopher but listening to some of these murderers, robbers, arsonist and you name it, some of these people were brilliant and talented. Don’t get me wrong I sleep better knowing some of those guys won’t be walking the street again.
    See I am certain I was born again in cell in solitary confinement during a riot in Pontiac Prison which I was delighted to read is being closed soon, looked alot like the pictures Mart took at Alcatraz. But just like Isreal or my favorite, the white skin monkey I was for so long, I turned my back on the Lord, I guess. I was to aware of the evil in the world. I was using my keen sense of awareness for the wrong things! God didn’t turn his back on me though or I’m sure I would be dead or just another career criminal statistic. Once I started looking past the clothes, make up or even the sins (not always easy) to the real person inside and listened by attempting to look through there eyes and imagine how they feel, why they feel that way and forget about myself a whole new world opened up to me. When you start thinking more about other people than you do yourself, that is when in my opinion you open the door to Christ and he can lead you, protect you and comfort you. Amen
    Praying for all of you, Poohpity especially. Rick123 (can’t drag earthly thinking into the Kingdom of God, Not about the mom it’s the Christ…!) Daisy don’t grab that ruler yet I’m working on Ps. 1.
    Thanks Mart, liked the story of Isreal’s find in prison and the two knuckle head convicts staking claims on who found it, lol! Not trying to go inside the prison, hmmm, good call.
    Your Friend in Indy

  37. wretch-like-me says:

    Hey, folks, havent posted in a while… been ‘listening’ though… and a couple of thoughts are rattlin’ round in my skull.

    When I was a ‘Huck Finn’ growing up in Arkansas, my elders used to remind me that I had ‘two’ ears and only ‘one’ mouth… keep ’em clean and they’ll serve you well. (Ever wonder why God chose that ratio 2:1?)

    Prov. 17:29 has been paraphrased many times…

    Mark Twain echoed this with his version
    “Better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt!”

    Ben Franklin “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

    Abe Lincoln wrote “…better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt!”

    the list goes on…

    I suppose each of us has a natural tendency to be quick to defend our beliefs and in that ‘zeal’ we are prone to use a ‘railroad spike’ to drive home our point when a ‘thumb tack’ would serve as well. If you’re like me, and prone to exaggerate(a weee-mite), your tongue gets you in trouble faster than a magnet attracts iron filings.

    Oh, what a horrible monster it is once it is loosed!!!

    My solution: Fill my head, heart and soul so full with scripture that when I open my mouth out it comes.

    Peace to you all.

  38. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, I really appreciate your efforts to point out wrong thinking and God will surely reward you for that. As for me… to correct wrong teaching in the body of Christ is something that is beyond my ability because I’m not called to teach. Hence I was quiet and I do not regret it because now I realize that the whole point is to be careful before we speak!

    Michael, thank you for sharing! Its ok, take your time big guy:) … we have all the time left in this world… just continue to keep it slow on Ps 1 as there is absolutely no pressure here… Oh and the ruler? … is gone! So, it is no more rules and no more rulers for Ms Daisy. She has turned over a new leaf thanks to this post on listening to one another!

    wretch-like-me/Frank, though I skipped your name, I missed you too…especially the hugs:) and it is always a blessing to hear from you. Keep posting!

  39. Rick123 says:

    Jer 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches:

    Jer 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.

  40. Rick123 says:

    Mar 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

  41. Rick123 says:

    Luk 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

    Luk 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

  42. Rick123 says:

    Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not!

  43. Rick123 says:

    Jam 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

    Jam 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

    Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

    Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

    Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice

  44. sjd says:

    daisymarigold, I am not sure I appreciated your sarcasm tonight. I enjoy using sarcasm at times, as it can be quite effective. Maybe yours is as well, as it is getting a response. Seems to me, that your response somehow added more to my statement than I intended, and your nice opening to me seemed somewhat hollow.

    Does Colossians 3:16 deal with leaders or the church in general?

    Seems to me that the point for all of us (teachers and “non-teachers”) is that we all need to be dominated by the Spirit(Ephesians 5:16), and this is parallel with the concept of letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly(Colossians 3:16). I believe as I think you do that we are to be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as workmen that do not need to be ashamed, accurately dividing the word of truth. It is interesting that in that passage in 2 Timothy 2:14-17, verse 14 seems to be saying that we shouldn’t be wasting a lot of time arguing with false teachers. Yet Timothy was reminded in the next verse that he needed to be very clear in his teaching. I believe the point in James is not that we remain silent, as it seems you imply that some of us are saying, but that we are prepared to give the correct teaching with the right attitude, understanding the problem at hand. James clearly addressed the unbelievers in chapter four. He didn’t mince any words. He didn’t hold back in speaking to the believers either. We shouldn’t mince words either. Let us be clear with the teaching of God.

    It is very evident that you have spent much time studying and enjoying the Word of God, and I continue to expect you to share your understanding of God’s Word, and not remain silent!

    I can appreciate Mart’s attempt to help us be diligent in studying the Word of God, so that when we are in our local assemblies and in the world, we can clearly proclaim the truth of God’s Word. Yes, teachers, like Mart are to teach. And we in the family, are to do the “one anothers” of the NT, which also include the admonishing and teaching. This blog is a great place to learn together, so that we will be more able to glorify our Lord in our speech.

    I am very thankful for you, and I truly mean that. You have made me think time and time again. I really do look forward to hearing from you in the future as I do others here on the blog. I do appreciate your commitment to God’s Word and your zeal to present the truth.

    Your brother, Steve

  45. desert rose says:

    I have found that in studying the Word of God that God speaks to us, using the same scripture, different from the times before. His Word is quick and powerful and sharper than a two edged sword. We need the reminder in James regarding the tongue, because once it is said, it can never be unsaid. What a response to this blog.

  46. SFDBWV says:

    I agree desert rose, God speaks to us through His word. it is a very personal relationship between you and God. The Holy Spirit knows when you are able to understand a truth and are ready to recieve it. We don’t know that timing but God does. Very personal. But we have to be listening.

    I am almost amused at Mart’s opening comments about the word obey being translated “listen”. As I can hear the voice of authority saying in tones meant to convey understanding….”Listen you..”

    I have an old movie “Peter and Paul” with Anthony Hopkins as Paul. In the portrail of James the charactor is at first very quick to blast off at the mouth and accuse Paul of being the enemy….but after Paul comes to the rescue of the early church with money from his new gentile believers, James demonstrates his need to hold his tongue and not be too judgemental too quickly. I though it a good example of James’s message.

    Steve D

  47. Rick123 says:

    This morning I woke up, and remembered my dream I had. I was in my childhood past, I was telling these children in my dream about my childhood past. About how I loved to play in the park, with my friends. As I was talking to these unknown children I saw a tree with huge roots, rooted very deep within the ground. Then I saw an unknown person approach us with a transparent like glass horn, it looked like a ram’s horn. I asked the Lord, what the dream was about I had. Then scriptures begun to pop up in my mind. We should be rooted and grounded very deep within Christ and his word, that we should be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. And therefore bring much fruit in due time, our leafs won’t dry up like a fruitless tree, and everything we do, shall prosper. Jesus is the horn of our salvation, he pours his oil upon our head, and our horn is lifted up.

  48. daisymarygoldr says:

    Steve/sjd sorry if my words sounded hollow… that was not the intent. I want to reiterate that I sincerely meant each and every word in that opening line. Steve, please know that despite my alien existence in this country and culture you are one of those very few individuals that make me feel at home…not physically or culturally but spiritually. I have said this to you before and I say it again. I recognize and relate to the Spirit of our Heavenly father present in you and the others who have been contributing to this blog on a regular basis.

    With that assurance, I agree with everything you said about listening and not getting angry…and I also agree about what you said about false teaching and not to be too quick and desire to be teachers… but “we should be slow to teach”? I’m not sure if that is a wise thing to do.

    You are right, Col 3:16 does not specify leaders but we know that God ordains by anointing certain people as spiritual leaders in the body… to teach and admonish and Steve, that includes you and the other men here. Personally, I’m not called to be a leader and I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I’m here to teach.

    Yes, the zeal for His Word and His house is there and it is a passion that I feel should consume every member in the body of Christ. If my womanly perception senses a lack of it, I react… to prod, to spur and I’m sorry if it spills out as sarcasm… and yes, it is to get attention not towards me but towards attending the business of our Heavenly father.

    As I told Mart De Haan and the others, I tell you too… please do not take it personally. As you rightly recognized that I’m not your foe but I’m family… I hope you will also accept that we tend to show our love differently. I acknowledge that my words are a bit too severe but that’s because I care… Please forgive me Steve, and keep posting. I thank God for your leadership and greatly appreciate your teaching! …with prayers, Daisy.

  49. Laurielee says:

    Daisy, I was reading your words with interest but was wondering… Your ‘alien’ comment…did you mean that the same way Abraham did, or were you actually transplanted here? It’s surely none of my business, I’m just curious. If you ARE transplanted, what brought you here? Please excuse me for questioning…one of my hobbies is learning about other cultures. I sometimes wonder if that is because my mother was born in Northern Ireland, or if it has to do with my daughter going to school with people from 94 different countries, or if I’m still ‘homesick’ for Israel though I was there for only a short time. If I’m offending you by asking, please forgive me.

    GeeTee, An amusing story… you know that I was missing my daughter the other day, so I called her. She told me that she’d just gotten back from seeing a friend in Oakland. I told her that I wasn’t aware that there was an “Oakland” near Boston. She said, “No, Mom, I’m in San Francisco…and it’s even stranger here than I heard.”

  50. sjd says:


    Thank you for your reply! I figure we are all aliens in this world and look forward to our future home, where our true citizenship is.

    I must fly. My wife and I just drove 7 hours and we are moving our daughter. They are waiting. Will look forward to future conversations.

    In Christ,


  51. daisymarygoldr says:

    Laurielee, by aliens I meant to say that I’m a stranger to this country and culture but regardless of the differences I do feel at home here with brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Steve, yes we are all aliens in this world and look forward to our future home. Happy moving!

  52. sjd says:

    The moving went great. Not too many sore muscles:).

    I agree that time is precious, and the teaching and witnessing must be done urgently. No time to waste.

    Speaking of urgent, if you and others would pray for a Jim, who is nearing death due to cancer. It has been a few days since I have spoken to him and as far as I know at this moment, he has not yet united faith with the Good news.

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