Putting God's Word into Practice…

James 1:19-21 Hearing, Speaking and Anger

on August 24, 2013

Know this, my beloved brothers: let EVERY PERSON be QUICK TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO ANGER; for the anger of many does not produce the righteousness of God.  Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Quick to hear! In controversy or confrontation, humbly listen to the other person’s perspective and criticisms.  In temptation, be quick to hear the truth and listen for a way out from under it.  In trials, be quick to hear wise counsel and direction.

Slow to speak! In conversations, don’t interrupt or plan ahead the “wisdom” or experience I want to share.  Don’t turn conversations around to be about “me.”  In temptations–failed or otherwise–don’t be quick to defend myself or have the last word.  In trials, don’t be quick to grumble or complain.

Slow to anger!  I heard someone say once, “Anger is counter-productive to God’s plan for our lives.”  Anger produces bitterness, steals joy, enhances pride, enables impatience, defends entitlement, and promotes selfishness.  Anger is often our first and immediate response to trials and to relational conflict or confrontations.

The verse says, “LET EVERY PERSON,” not just introverts, counselors, people of few opinions, but EVERYONE.  For some of us these directives are harder than others.  Especially me!  I tend to be opinionated and naturally loud.  Pride often makes me want to be heard at the expense of others, and when I feel like I’m not being heard, I am quick to anger.  It’s a vicious cycle!

Deuteronomy 24:6, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 86:15, 103:8, 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2, Nahum 1:3 all say the same thing.  God defines Himself and carries the reputation through hundreds of generations as being merciful, gracious, SLOW TO ANGER, and abounding in love and faithfulness.  Throughout the Bible we see that the Lord hears us and speaks to us.  Many people claim repeatedly, “The Lord heard my cry and answered me.”  God would not give us directions for holiness, that don’t define His own character.  However, holiness does not come naturally to us like it does to Him.  That’s why He gives us tools to use in our trials.

Trials in our relationships our a sanctifying tool God can use to make us more like HIm in how we view and treat others.  Receiving the Word and wisdom of the Lord with meekness (humility) is the first step in treating others with meekness.

Knowing, gaining wisdom from, and living according to God’s Word is the primary weapon we have in enduring trials, resisting temptation, and relating to others.


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