James 1:19-20 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.

Sometimes I feel like I live in the most divided time in history. I know this is not true; it just seems like it because reminders of division stare me in the face every day. This is both the light and dark side of instant global communication. While I’m thankful I can connect with friends in a moment across vast distances, I am also confronted with the brokenness of our world in an unending news cycle.

In times like these, I cling desperately to this admonishment from James. I must be quick to listen—not to jump to conclusions or prepare my rebuke. I must be quick to listen so I may understand the sister or brother speaking to me—and maybe even befriend them. Jesus’ insistence upon relationship with those whom others deem unlovable is just one example of how friendship conquers division and brings us peace.

MOVING FORWARD: Be quick to listen today—to God, to your neighbor, and to your own heart.