A reflection on James 1:19-20
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
God’s word is constantly wise and true. I am sure if you are anything like me there are many times in your life (maybe often) when you have wished that you hadn’t said what you did say, that you have regretted speaking or when you have not taken the time to listen and so you have failed to show love or misunderstood what someone was saying.
It is the same with anger; we are so easily not slow to become angry but quick to do so. People say something that sets us off and we are not slow but move towards anger. James here tells us that this kind of anger ‘does not bring about the righteous life that God desires’.
The truth is that God wants His people to live differently. When someone places their trust in Jesus’ death for their sins and follows after Him as their King they are empowered by God’s Holy Spirit to live differently, to say ‘no’ to how they used to live and to say ‘yes’ to Jesus.
For God’s children we are called to reflect our Father in heaven, with calmness, with patience and deep love that listens and seeks to understand others. We seek to listen well and to speak ‘only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.’
Of course we fail in this every day, but we continue to look to Jesus for forgiveness and to seek it out from others and to pursue more and more by God’s power to reflect Jesus to those around us.