“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness 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.”
It’s as if James, the half-brother of Jesus, isn’t writing to first century believers but to 2023 Christians. It’s like he knows how quick jabs and angry tirades have become the cultural norm, even a sign of moral superiority (no matter your position or side). But while fast, lashing tongues (or typing) might be acceptable and applauded by the world, James reminds us that “human anger does NOT produce the righteousness that GOD desires.”
It’s a truth that transcends time and culture. Clearly the human condition needs the reminder again and again (and again) that we honor God and His image in others when we bite our tongue and train our ears to listen, really listen, before we ever speak. Anger is not a sin on it’s own — Jesus was flipping-tables angry when His Father’s temple was used like a shady marketplace to pad the pockets of the religious elite. But when anger is always our knee-jerk reaction, it’s time for some soul reflection.
So sisters, let’s ask God today to help us humbly accept His Word planted in us. Let’s ask God to reveal areas of our lives — relationships, social media habits, hot button issues — that provoke us to spewing our opinions before consulting the Holy Spirit.
May God’s Living Water quench our need to be right, loud, and angry. May He instead refresh us with His wisdom so we can listen well and reply with humility when He says the time is right.
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