Read:

  • Jeremiah 26:1-6
  • Jeremiah 7:1-8:3
  • Jeremiah 26:7-24
  • Jeremiah 11:1-12:17

“Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, ‘This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.'” –Jeremiah 26:11, ESV

Listen first. A colleague who works in communication uses these two words to frame his work. Listen first. See what is going on around you, in similar areas, in similar fields. See what others are doing and whether that works. Do not barge into a situation and assume you know everything. Listen first.

This mantra comes to mind when the officials ask for Jeremiah’s life because he prophesied against the city. His condemnation wasn’t due to sin, or some egregious act. They did not like what he said, so they asked for his life. How often do we do the same? How often do we reactively respond to a word or situation without first considering its truth or applicability? We jump right past conclusions and into the pit of demanding destruction…all because we do not like what was said.

There might not be truth in something, and the ultimate end of dismissing the comment or even cutting off ties with a person may be legitimate. However, we rarely give an unpalatable word enough contemplation to make responsive decisions in a wise manner.

Listen first. Consider second. Prayerfully through it all, be slow to anger and slower to demand recompense. Listen first. Let all the rest follow slowly.

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