Text: James 1:19-20
“19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
Last week, we have discussed on how we are to face trials of any kinds. We have discussed that we are to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials. We also have learned that we need to ask God for wisdom, and that we have to believe that God give it generously.
Today, we will discuss the qualities we should posses in facing trials. With these three good qualities, it will allow us to face trials with confidence and upright even if we are in the middle of it.
1.Swift To Hear – The idea is to have a quick and attentive ear. The writer is telling us to be attentive in listening. But what are the things to which we should be quick to listen?
The passage gives us the idea where to be quick to listen. Both in the preceding and the subsequent passages, tells us that we are to listen to the word of truth, which is the word of God. Being quick to listen to the word of truth means being attentive to what it says, and putting those things into actions especially that the context of the passage is working faith.
Thus, no one can say that “only God knows who are teaching the truth”. This is because God has given us the Bible to be our guide. To be “quick to listen” as listening to a dispute where we tend to hear carefully what is being said.
I believe that lawyers are practiced to have swift hearing. They need this in order to form some strategy to win the case. A lawyer that does not possess a swift hearing is a negligent lawyer and only brings defeat to his case.
2.Slow To Speak – The original word used means “slow to begin speaking” and not “slow while speaking”. This gives us the idea that in contrast to being aggressive in listening, we need to be more careful in speaking.
We have to see to it that whatever we say, it should be in a loving and correct manner. This should not be in contrast to boldness in speaking the truth. We can be bold in speaking yet “slow to speak” which means, to be “mindful” in speaking. Not speaking tacklessly nor speaking vulgarly.
Being slow to speak encourages people, not offending people. It enables people to see the right thing and not being hesitant to accept the truth.
Proverbs 12:18 – There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword; but the tongue of the wise is health.
Proverbs 15:4 – A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it, shall eat the fruit thereof.
3.Slow To Wrath – There are times that were really hard for us. And that we feel it is very difficult to cope up with things going on in our lives. As a result, we tend to become easily irritated and that all we feel that we need to be alone. This is very true especially if we are under pressure.
When our boss starts demanding an impossible task to accomplish in no time. When we as a student have three book review assignments with in three days period accompanied by exams. We easily get irritated when more people starts to add more things on us.
All these seems to be normal reactions. But the Bible instructed us that we are to be slow to get angry. It is not wrong to be angry at times, but in our anger we have to be sure that it will not fall into sin (Ephesians 4:26).
Furthermore, the Bible tells us that, “for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” Wrath can bear fruits of sins.
The Lord always want us to learn how to cope up with our trials. He wants us to be doing what is right in His eyes while undergoing such trials. Our passage tells us the good qualities that we can keep in facing trials of any kind. If right now we are in the midst of tremendous trials, let us ask the Lord our God that we will possess these qualities.