Read James 1:19-22
It is as if James were right here on Social Media and in our homes talking with us RIGHT NOW! He wrote this almost 2,000 years ago, but it sure is true today. And what a great way to start his post: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:” (v.19a) Ok, maybe we wouldn’t post those words exactly, but I could see a Facebook post from James saying “Hey, fellow Jesus followers… I need you to read this…” And then he posts it… it’s simple. It’s clear.
“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.” (V19b-20)
That is convicting. In a time in our culture where everyone seems to be talking… will we, as followers of Jesus, be willing to put these verses into practice? Will we be willing to listen… really, truly listen? To ask questions, to clarify and to listen some more. Will we continue to get so angry with people with opposing views that we do not actually hear what they are saying? Or will we stop, take a breath and listen well? This is not easy!! I love to be right and I love to win, but when winning and being right means that I show my anger and disrespect to someone else, I become the problem.
So I ask all of us to hear God’s Word and put it into practice. (Oh believe me, I’m talking to myself here too!!) That is what verse 22 means: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” And let’s stop and listen to each other. Let’s not get angry so quickly. Let’s take time to hear and understand someone who disagrees with us. Let’s pray for the peace of Jesus to be in our own hearts, in our family, in our neighborhood, our county and in our country. And that the peace of Jesus would be seen as we listen and seek to understand others.