Note: This is a continual study on the book of James from the Christian Bible. enjoy and make this a personal study of your own.
Here is where James takes off the gloves and gets down to really loving us. Love doesn’t mean sunshine and roses all the time. Tough love can be the best kind of love at times. We have to feel the rough side of love to appreciate the soft side. And James gives us just that.
James 1:19–21 says:
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (NIV)
Quick to Listen
“Everyone should be quick to listen” — boy, that pretty much eliminates most of us. Can you honestly admit that you are like this? That you listen more than you speak? There are a few beautiful people out there that are wonderful listeners. They are a rare bunch. But here He says that it should not be rare.
Each and everyone of us is told that we should be more eager to listen with our TWO ears than to open our big mouths. We have a better chance to hear things that could be life altering. Do you listen to those around you? I mean really listen or are you already creating your reply to them. You miss out on some important things when you are too busy in your own mind or with your own mouth and not listening.
Slow to Speak
“Slow to speak” — I’ve met very few people who fell into this category. Trust me, they are very quick to speak and give me their opinion. We are all so quick to open our mouths and give unsolicited advice, tell people what to do, give controversial opinions. God gave us two ears and only one mouth. Which do we usually use the most? Not the ears.
In today’s world, it is becoming more and more common to talk. That leads to fights and broken friendships. This is especially true on social media. With COVID quarantines, this has increased the talk more and listen less. We speak about our feelings on masks and vaccines without thinking of how we say it or who we say it to. Instead of being slow to speak and think about our words, we blurt them out and cause hurt feelings.
Slow to Anger
“Slow to become angry” — we are so guilty of this. How often we quickly blow our tops mainly on assumptions (which you know about assuming…..) or decide it is always the bad news so we might as well get mad now? We read a post online and blow our tops. Then we attack the person and cause a major feud.
Maybe we shouldn’t be so sensitive about things. Maybe we should think of what was said, how it was said, who said and anything else that could influence reactions. Yes, we might be angry immediately, but our anger should not erupt immediately. It should be tempered and examined before released.
None of this brings glory to God. None of it gives Him honor.
The Next Step
How do we do this, then? James gives us the answer. “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
Take an inventory of your life and list out the moral filth that you have: adultery, drunkenness, slander, and so many others. Be honest with yourself. You cannot shock God. He already knows about them, even the ones you cannot see. You might not consider some of these as filth. If that is the case, look at how they impact your life. Are they really adding value or causing you distress?
Now, we have to become humble. That is like asking for patience. Humility is something almost no one has, but everyone needs. It is the ability to not put yourself first and lift others up before yourself.
Try a little humility today and refer to the Word which gives you so much direction in your life. Check out the book of Proverbs. You cannot go wrong with all that good advice.