Last night we had the joy of studying James 1:19-27. I like what Sheila did last week so I am going to blog a few different posts . . . here's some beginning thoughts. . . on vs 19-22
There is a triple duty in responding to the word
1) Quick to listen - listening is not a passive - it's active and it takes hard work! Oral communication and listening was cruical and if it wasn't done lead to spiritual impoverishment. The scriptures (they only had the OT at the time) written down were not mass produced so much was communicated orally rather than read.
How do you practice listening?
2) Slow to speak - basically, James is telling us to think before we speak. Prov. 10:19 is a good one for me who likes to talk . . . "When words are many, sin is not absent - he who holds his tongue is wise.
How do you practice being slow to speak?
3) Slow to become angry - It's easy to rationalize our anger. We say that we are just "brutally honest" or "frank" about things. We even blame the pressure we are under. An angry spirit is never a listening or teachable one. (YIKES!) If we don't listen to the word, we act out of our own selfishness which certainly can escalate anger. Prov. 29:11 "A fool gives full vent to his anger but a wiseman keeps himself under control.
The reason we act in such a way is listed in verse 20, "anger doesn't bring about the righteous life that God desires."
What is righteous living?
Basically, if we wish to benefit from the word, we must get rid of the sins it reveals to us - when we do that, we are ready to "humbly accept the word . . ."
What about that?