If only the world adopted the following message of James, what transformation would take place.
You must understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger,
For human anger does not produce God’s righteousness.
Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls (James 1.19-21).
I have read and re-read the book, “Just Listen,” by Dr. Mark Goulston.
Amazon’s promo states, “Goulston combines his background with the latest scientific research to help listeners turn the ‘impossible’ and ‘unreachable’ people in their lives into allies, devoted customers, loyal colleagues, and lifetime friends.”
James would have been a fan of “Just Listen,” because it is his message.
As you know, we have to be slow to speak as we choose to be quick to listen.
It may take a fair amount of self-discipline to do this, but we will discover a significant payoff if we do.
Slow to Anger
James calls followers of Jesus to be “slow to anger” because “human anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”
Anger is a response to a threat, a hurt, or an injustice. Anger and hatred are powerful forces.
Possibly the most striking example of anger and hatred is this week’s remembrance of the Holocaust and the war in Ukraine.
Anger and hatred are incredibly destructive of life and property, and there is no way that these two attitudes produce God’s righteousness.
Put Off – Put On
The way we can follow James’ direction in verse 19 is to do what he says in verse 21.
Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls (verse 21).
Attitudes and internal beliefs produce an unwillingness to listen or an alternative to anger.
Rudy Ross identifies iniquity as the inner thought life of a person when living in opposition to God.
The fruit of iniquity is sordidness and abundant wickedness.
We must address the attitudes and beliefs of our inner self and rid ourselves of sinful attitudes and actions.
Once we address iniquity, we welcome with open hearts God’s word.
Jesus makes his church “holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5.26).
As we welcome God’s word into our lives, we will find ourselves being aligned with the principles of verse 19. We will listen more, speak less, and gain victory over anger.
Rudy Ross and I talk about the Book of James on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.