Study Notes on James 1:19-21

My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose. So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the Word of Life has power to continually deliver us. (Jas 1:19-21 Passion)

When I looked at the order of these verses in reverse, the Word of Life is the key to slowing in the moments where anger and wrath threaten to be released from the depths of my heart. Anger expressed in reactionary mode is a wrecking ball rather than a tool to build life from the brokenness around me. “With a sensitive spirit, absorb God’s Word”. His power of self control and peace is already in us, we just need to slow down enough to access it. When we have self control and awareness in slowing, we abandon temptation and wickedness in order live in a more pure way.

Some days are harder than others. This very morning as I sat down to study, there was a wall between my head and my heart. When I am faced with hard things, my mind takes over and self protects. But when I am self protecting, I cannot allow God to penetrate into my heart, and therefore I notice I am colder and more lifeless inside. This posture makes me a prime target for being quick to speak and react to the inevitable conflict ahead of me in my day. By being sensitive to what Jesus teaches and how He lived, I am convicted in my spirit. To restore sensitivity and an open heart, I had to kneel before God in prayer, ask Him to build the bridge between my head and my heart, and soothe the wounded places. This soothing takes my pride down and lifts my awareness up so that I can listen with Holy ears, and respond with Holy love. And this is the deliverance or saving verse 21 speaks of. I am delivered in the moments that threaten to destroy peace and life, and ultimately saved for eternity. The moments in life are where peace or wrath happens. I want more peace.

Lord, I lay down my pride to You. Keep me safe yet sensitive to Your heart and the hearts of those in my path today. Help me to listen with Your ears, be slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Sink this lesson deep in my heart and help me remember. Teach me the difference between justifiable anger and pride and show me how to live with more peace in the daily moments no matter what comes. I know you’ve got me, help me to live better in that assurance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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