Child Custody Devotional – James 1:19
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. . . James 1:19
Don’t be fooled. Strength, on its own, is a good thing. Leadership and influence are good things when utilized the right way and for the right reasons. I think the widespread misconception, then, is what these important traits look like, how the reflect themselves to others. I think that’s where folks run into trouble and strength, leadership and influence catch a bad and unfair rap.
Among other things, that’s where listening comes in…being quick to hear, as James puts it. A leader, whether of a group, organization or…in our universe…a family, is a good listener before any other kind of communicator. Leadership is not in having all the opinions — it’s in making and being responsible for, i.e. owning, the final decision. Maybe even more fundamentally, a leader doesn’t have to have the booming voice or be the quick-to-speak “fast talker.” Any leader who doesn’t heed the counsel of their team or family does so at their peril.
From a practical perspective, anything you say is necessarily something you already know or have thought of. You learn from listening to the ideas, opinions and feelings of others.
In Child Custody and Co-Parenting, it’s like the import of this passage, along with a legion of others, is multiplied exponentially. If…and that’s a big, important if…you can be “slow to anger,” you and your Child Custody lawyers, whether at Foxtrot Family Law or elsewhere, get so much more out of listening and keeping your mouth shut then speaking.
Think about it like all our true crime podcasts and documentaries we’ve got these days…does the Suspect in the interrogation room ever help themselves by spouting off? Or, are folks yelling at the screen for the innocent and aggrieved to shut up before they get themselves in more trouble.
Here, though, it’s like winning twice. Not only are you not getting yourself in more trouble by speaking more than you should, the Other Side is showing their hand. I’d love nothing more than to ask a simple question at a deposition and just let the Other Side go on their merry way airing out their grievances, positions and opinions on any number of issues.
Now, of course, James wasn’t writing this verse to help lawyers like me. But that’s the cool thing about biblical principles. They work, period. We don’t just have to take God’s or Jesus’ or James’ word for it, though perhaps we should. We just need to stop, listen and think before we speak or act and enjoy the peace and effectiveness that comes along with it.