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Hand over the mic

Hand over the mic

Something to read

Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

- 1 Samuel 2:3.

Something to think about

The New Testament letter of James reminds us of the power of the tongue; our harsh words to others can be like a spark that sets a whole forest alight. If you are in possession of a quick temper, you will know only too well how easily words can cause damage!

But here Hannah warns of a more subtle danger: arrogant words and proud talk. I imagine she had been on the receiving end of plenty of arrogant words about her childlessness; perhaps powerful men telling her that her sin must have been the cause for her distress, or presuming to expound the will of God in her circumstances.

The more privileged a life we lead, the more naturally arrogance seems to come. As someone who is white, British, middle-class and Oxford educated, I find people are very willing to listen to my opinions and thoughts even on subjects I am not really an expert on. Pride laps up the attention and performs to an audience. Arrogance assumes I probably do have something very worthwhile to say. But humility prompts me to pause, hand over the metaphorical microphone to someone else with more expertise or lived experience on the subject, and then sit and listen.

Something to do

Try holding back in your speaking today, pausing to let others contribute instead or to take a few more moments to reflect before you jump in. Consider what could act as a reminder for you throughout your day – a piece of wool around your wrist, a post-it note on the desk, or a note on the home screen of your phone?

Something to pray

God of all knowledge, you weigh my attitudes and actions fairly, and you know me inside out. Thank you that you always have compassion for me. Please shed your light on any ways that I can be arrogant and proud, and help me to grow in humility and honesty. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones