James 1:19 tells us,

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

We all think we’re great at all three of these things right up until the moment we encounter difficult people in our lives. However, those are exactly the places where we must put James’ words into practice.

James reminds us that we can’t go on being only hearers of God’s word, but we must be doers of his word, too. By putting his words into practice, we remember that God’s word doesn’t only change our eternity, but it continues to transform our present circumstances—giving us freedom in the here and now—as we live by the truth of God’s word.

Since God desires for his heavenly righteousness to be expressed in our earthly relationships, here are ten practical ways you can live out James 1:19 today:

1. Forgive that person who cut you off in traffic.

2. Call and encourage that difficult family member.

3. Compliment your kids.

4. Listen during a disagreement without preparing a response.

5. Thank your spouse for something small.

6. Offer kind words when you’re criticized.

7. Refrain from gossip at the office.

8. Give grace by tipping well, even if things didn’t go perfectly.

9. Refrain from negative social media posts.

10. Listen to others without looking at your phone.