Putting God's Word into Practice…

James 1:22-27 How God’s Word Gives Freedom Over Anger

on September 3, 2013

In the previous verses, God commands us through James to be slow to anger, stating that anger does not produce the righteousness of God in us.  Being “quick to anger” is an ongoing issue for many people–especially myself!  If I had a dollar for every time I’ve confessed my anger, cried over my anger, and requested prayer for victory over anger…

Anger is something that those who follow Christ are called to “put to death” in Colossians 3:5-10.  Based on James 1:22-27, there is one way to kill anger in our lives–ACT ON THE WORD OF GOD!  If we set our minds on living according to His Word, there will be no room for anger.  The amount of anger in my life–over trials, unmet expectations, giving voice to my impatience and selfishness–is a direct correlation to my indifference and outright disobedience of God’s Word.

James 1:25 promises that those who act on God’s Word will be blessed.  I know that to be true!  I’ve experienced the joy of obedience! But in the moment it is so easy to let my tongue loose…James calls that a person with worthless religion.  Always hearing–never changing! Knowing the truth, but giving precedence to the flesh.

Unrighteous anger is worldly.  It is a justifiable emotion and response when things don’t go my way.  The world teaches that it is normal and okay.  But God wants His followers–bought with the precious blood of Jesus–to be different.  He wants us to be unstained from the world.  When we justify our “quick to anger” reactions, we are deceiving ourselves!  We are replacing true righteousness with self-righteousness!  Think about it:  All anger against humans (anger against unrighteous actions IS justifiable) is rooted in self-righteousness.

The people to whom James was writing were scattered due to persecution.  Maybe the widows and orphans referenced in verse 27 were a specific result of this persecution.  We don’t see this a lot in our country, but in Africa and Asia this oppression is in abundance.  It would be easy to be angry at the ones who cause this atrocity.  But sinful responses will only defile us!  Taking our eyes off ourselves and our situations while caring for others who are afflicted is a true remedy for worthless religion.  Showing God’s love and mercy to those in need protects us from anger, proves that we are “doers” of the Word, and puts us in a place to receive blessings from the Lord.

Verse 25 calls God’s Word, “The Law of Liberty.”  That means that freedom comes through obeying God’s Word.  Specifically this morning, I see that freedom over anger comes from God’s Word–receiving it, hearing it, looking intently into it, and doing it!


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