SCRIPTURE: What passage are we reading together today?
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
James 1:19–20 (NIV)
OBSERVATION What does the passage say?
When you read the whole chapter you see that James is speaking primarily to Christians. He is encouraging and instructing them in how to become spiritually mature by showing them the marks of spiritual maturity.
In these verses he says that one way we see spiritual growth in our lives is by allowing the Word of God to become real in our lives. Godly action must have it’s genesis in the Word of God.
He says that we are to start with listening and be careful to get some understanding before speaking. Then he goes on to say that we should be even slower to get anger because our human anger is a deterrent to spiritual growth.
As you listen to the word you begin to see what God requires of us and it should lead us to God-honoring actions.
What does it mean?
What does the Bible say about this elsewhere?
If the Word of God is to lead us to life transformation then we must take time to listen and accept the Word.
Listening to the Word is the understanding of allowing it to take root in our lives. Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other, but to listen to the Word requires that we think deeply about it. Ruminate on it. Chew on it and meditate on it and then let its true meaning become clear.
James says that we must also accept the Word. That understanding of acceptance is that after “listening” to it we follow through with action that reflects what we have learned. It is what verse 22 is saying. Listening is not enough - action is required.
LIFE APPLICATION: What am I going to do about it?
In order to listen to the word I must take time to read, study and meditate on its truths. I do that by becoming a student of the Word of God. Practicing SOUL. But having discovered the truth I will apply it in a practical way to my life.