Friday, February 9: Slow to speak and slow to become angry
Relying heavily on the teachings of Jesus and especially drawing from the Sermon on the Mount, James, in his New Testament letter, asserts that true faith is more than an intellectual pursuit of ideas. Instead, real faith results in action. James writes a stream of wise teachings that can easily seem like a bucket of ice water in your face. Watch for the Holy Spirit to call you to take next steps in activating your faith, helping you encounter and better follow Jesus to bless a broken world.
Read James 1:19-21
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.
This passage has always been true, but we live in a very specific time when it seems to be even truer than normal. Turn on a cable news channel, go to any popular social network site, tune in a little talk radio, and you'll likely be bombarded by people who are quick to speak, even quicker to become angry, and seem never to listen. Perhaps worse, those of us on the sidelines are often glad to excuse such pundits as long as they're one of "us," but condemn the same behavior when it comes from one of "them," whoever you may consider those groups to be.
We can't shush the whole world, but we can keep our own mouths shut. We can't quiet others, but we can silence our TVs and radios and the strident and constantly shouting voices on the web—even when we might agree with some of their actual words.