James 1:19-20, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Ideal qualities for every person to emulate. A quicker hearer, slow speaker, and someone who is slow to anger. Do this sound like someone you know? To me, this sounds like Jesus. Jesus only showed anger when it was warranted, chose His words carefully, and always listened carefully. Jesus is whom we show emulate. Jesus is the example for all.
The wrath of man does not lead to the righteousness of God. This sounds quite self-explanatory. The anger that man shows is not of God. The anger of man contains one thing that God’s righteousness does not: sin. Sin comes in the form of spoken word, action, or thought. When referring to the wrath of God, there is no sin found. God’s wrath is pure. That is how our wrath is to be.
When listening, we need to be quick to hear. This means that we need to really pay attention when we are listening so that lessons can be learned. This is not a casual listening like listening to the radio. This is listening as to learn and know to build yourself up.
Slow to speak means not saying the first thing that comes to mind. When Jesus spoke, He chose His words very carefully. When we speak, we need to chose our words carefully as well. As Christians, people will look to what we say and anything that we say that is contrary to God will be used against us and more importantly, used against God. Our words need to reflect God and honor God.
Being slow to anger means learning what to be mad at. Most things that happen to us do not deserve anger. Not true righteous anger. If something bad happens to us because of our serving God, there is a reason to be mad, but not mad to the point of sin. Anger needs to be without sin. No malice. No hate.
These three qualities are not easy. These each can be learned and through prayer, God can give them to us. The thing to keep in mind is this: we are not perfect. We will make mistakes and mess up. Through Jesus, when we mess up, He is there to pick us up, dust us off, and help us carry on. These traits are for us to aspire to. These traits are Godly.
You are perfect. You are holy. You are slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen. We are truly thankful that You are all of these. We know that we mess up daily. We need a God that is slow to anger and provided a salvation for us. We need a God that is quick to listen to our cries for help. We need a God that is slow to speak and know exactly what we need to hear, not what we want You to say. You are our God and we are Your people. I pray that we apsire daily to grow closer to You and follow Your commands. I pray that You continue to be with us through all of life. We know that You will if we only believe and trust in You. Thank you for being our God, through all of life’s trials and temptations.
In Your name we pray,