whytheology

For the Intersection of the Everyday and the Sacred

James 1:19-21 (Lent Readings)

Passage

KJV Below (Link to NIV)

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Comment

They say the key to communication is when your desire to understand exceeds your desire to be understood. Said more colloquially, God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. The point of the passage is not that we never get angry, but that there is a difference between holy anger (exhibited by Jesus in the temple) and selfish anger. If it is centered on you and your desires, it’s probably not the right kind of anger. In generally our behavior should focus on the other people around us more than on ourselves. Instead we should humbly accept God’s word (and the abuse that likely accompanies that in a world full of “filth”) because it will have a lasting effect.

Question

In a conversation, how often do you find yourself genuinely trying to listen and how often are you merely waiting your turn to talk? How often do you excuse your anger as somehow “justified”? Is this how the bible talks about your anger?

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