Today’s Truth

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry (James 1:19, NLT).

Friend to Friend

Three-year old Mateo Beltran really wanted some cupcakes and his mother said no. Unfortunately, he did not like her answer. In a viral video on social media, little Mateo is better known as the little boy who says, “Listen Linda” over and over again. While little Mateo’s interruptions were funny in the video, regularly interrupting others is no laughing matter.

Do you tend to be a “Listen Linda”? Here are two ways that we can use interrupting as a control-loving behavior:

  • When we cut someone off while they are talking.
  • When we interfere in an other’s affairs.

Chances are that you’re like me and you don’t mean to interrupt others. In fact, you truly believe that what you are saying or doing will add something better to whatever is going on. For instance, when someone is telling a story and I interrupt to add my words, it’s because I want to add to the laughter and fun in the moment. If my kids are telling me about a problem and I jump in they before they done talking, it’s because I want to hurry them along toward solving their problem so that we both feel less stress.

Did you notice that the letter “I” begins the word interrupting? That is so telling! My interruptions often revealed a desire to push a self-centered priority of “me” over the precious relational connection of “we.” Some of the roots of interrupting behavior include insecurity (a fear of not being seen or heard), pride (valuing self over others) or fear of loss (trying to prevent embarrassment or a bad outcome).

In Luke 10, Martha welcomes Jesus and the disciples into her home. With a crowd of hungry men, chances are Martha was feeling some serious stress and pressure to be hospitable to her guests. However, she was upset with her sister, Mary, for not jumping in and helping. In fact, Martha goes to Jesus and asks him to interrupt Mary and make her do what Martha wants.

Jesus’ response to Martha: “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it and it will not be taken from her (Luke 10:42).”

Martha wanted to interrupt Mary’s agenda because Martha believed that her own agenda was more important in that moment. Jesus isn’t angry when he corrects Martha, but he lets her know that in that moment, Mary was doing exactly what was right for her and he wasn’t going to interrupt Mary for Martha’s sake.

Letting go of interrupting means stepping back in the moment and taking the focus off of ourselves before we push our agenda, our words or our demands on others. God allows you the space to pursue the life that you want to live. Give others that gift as well.

Do you tend to interrupt others with your words or interfere with what someone is doing because you don’t like how they are doing it? If you struggle with this, you aren’t alone! I do, too! Our first step is to admit it and ask for God’s help to let go of this control-loving behavior. Then, here’s some practical Spirit-driven next steps on how to let go of interrupting from Today’s Truth in James 1:19:

  1. Quick to listen – Ask God to help you to use your ears before you open your mouth.
  2. Slow to speak – Make sure that your words don’t dominate your conversations or undermine someone else’s actions.
  3. Slow to get angry – Practice humility and take the focus off of your feelings or the drive to get what you want.

Let’s Pray
Dear God, I can quickly get wrapped up into my excitement, agitation or agenda and push it on others. Lord, help me to take the focus off of myself and keep it on loving others in a way that honors You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

  • Consider Jesus’ response to Martha about leaving Mary alone to make her own choices. How is letting go of interrupting or interfering a powerful act of faith and trust in God?
  • Today’s Truth in James 1:19 offers several action steps. Which one(s) can you work on applying to your life today?

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s content is from Barb’s recent devotional book, Surrendered: 40 Days to Help You Let Go and Live Like Jesus. This 40-day devotional invites you to let go of trying to control others or outcomes and learn how to live like Jesus. Learn how to trust God’s power, presence, promises and provision for your life so that you experience God’s peace no matter what’s happening in your life.

© 2021 by Barb Roose. All rights reserved.

12 Responses to “Letting Go of Interrupting”

  1. Terrie says:

    Thank you so much for today’s lesson! I felt like you were talking just to ME. I am very impatient, and can never wait to get my opinion out. And, if you don’t listen to my opinion, I get either angry or impatient. Today, I will listen, contemplate, and then speak kindly. I am definitely a work in progress. I will ask for the Holy Spirit to interfere, and help me along the way! Once again, thank you for the reminder.
    God bless and keep you all!

    • Avatar photo Barb Roose says:

      Good morning Terrie, thank you for joining us on Girlfriends in God today. We’re in this together! I’m so glad that today’s devotion connected with your heart. I love that you’re ready to live out James 1:19 and allow God to use that verse to work in your life.

  2. This story i feel will me a direction says:

    I would like the book
    Letting go of Interruption.
    A senior, no card, money low.
    I feel this book would bring healing, and help with.

    To Listen
    When to Speak

    • Avatar photo Barb Roose says:

      Thank you for stopping by Girlfriends in God! I’m so glad that God used this devotional to bless and encourage your heart. Today’s post is based on scripture and I believe that God uses His powerful and divine words to bring the hope and healing that we need. Stay with us on Girlfriends in God for daily posts with God’s Word and I know that He will keep working in your life!

  3. Leni says:

    Thank you Barb for incredible devotion that has stopped me in my tracks as so aware when chatting to not get caught in gossip which can be so damaging but pray that God will show us how to respond better to help others blessings again to all in your wonderful ministry

    • Avatar photo Barb Roose says:

      Leni, thank you for joining today’s conversation and I’m so glad that you’ve shared your insights. I pray that God uses your powerful observations to be an encouragement to others who drop by today’s devotional.

  4. carol says:

    Thank you, Barb
    This is an issue with myself, that God and I are working on!
    I had a great pastor, who was a good listener. He made me aware of the “art of listening” was so much more important, than me, adding a comment for content.
    God knows our faults and thank goodness, He continues to forgive us for our mistakes.
    Continued blessings in your God-work.

    • Avatar photo Barb Roose says:

      We’re in this together, Carol! I’m so glad that you had a wonderful role model in your pastor. It’s so good that God surrounds us with people that help us along the way.

  5. Cathy says:

    Thank you for this valuable reminder of the importance of being a good listener! This has been a constant work in progress for me. I ask Gods help to help me to see and feel for others as I care about what they are saying to me.

    • Avatar photo Barb Roose says:

      Hi Cathy, I’m so glad that today’s devotional was an encouraging reminder to you! I love that you’re asking for God’s help and inviting Him to work in this area of your life. Celebrating that with you today!

  6. Lucille says:

    Thank you for this message today. It is inspiring. I thought a lot about interruptions of others’ conversations but a stutterer has to get her words in when she can. Otherwise she will lose her train of thought and forget what she wants to say. But I agree love is not rude. Rudeness go against the scripture that reads, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,…”

  7. Lana says:

    First,I would like to say thank you Barb for your transparency. Many of us do not like to admit our short comings to others. But I am often “Martha”, being a doer by nature. So I often have to pull out my bottle of self-discipline and pour it in my “cup” and practice being a better listener. Thank you.

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