“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”
---End of Scripture verses---
Since we have been “brought…forth by the word of truth” (verse 18), we must be “quick to hear” what God has to tell us in it (verse 19). God’s people should have a ready and attentive mind that is eager to listen to His will and obey His commands so that we can please Him and be in the best position to receive “every good thing” that He wants to shower down upon us (verse 17). The “word implanted” is only “able to save” our “souls” when we hear it, “receive” it and obey it (verse 21)!
Friends, we don’t learn a thing by talking. In all of our interactions with others we should be “quick to hear” what they have to say, and “slow to speak” in return. Most people have the skill of talking down to a science, but the ability to be a good listener has become pretty much a lost art. A godly heart tries to listen intently to what people say, and gives a good bit of thought and consideration to its words and responses before speaking its mind. We can apologize for the hurtful things we say but it is impossible to “un-say” anything and take the hurt away.
The more eager we are to listen and the less impulsive we are with our responses, the slower we will be to anger. I feel confident that every time I have reacted in wrathfulness I’ve greatly regretted it. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Answering in anger is like pouring gasoline on a fire that is already burning out of control. There is no way we can be right with God when we allow wrath to rule our lives. The best thing to do (usually) is to pause and pray when we are angry, and even walk away if necessary, and return and respond when we have calmed our spirit. Easier said than done right!?
Please read James 1:22-25 for tomorrow.
Have a blessed day!
- Louie Taylor