Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Relating to God's Word

"This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, 
slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man 
does not achieve the righteousness of God." 
James 1:19-20

Phil Newton says, "the focus of James' instruction in verses 19-20 ties in with the issue of the believer's relation to the Word of God." So in this context, if we want to put on God's righteousness, then we need to have a reverence for God's word. We must be "quick to hear" it. We need to maintain a receptive, teachable spirit. We should be "slow to speak". We can't hear God's voice if we're talking all the time. (It's my nature to be so eager to say something in a group Bible study that I don't fully give my attention to what's being said by others. This is something I'm working on. I don't want to miss what God is trying to teach me at a particular moment by cluttering my brain with thoughts of what I want to say at the next opportunity.) "A person who keeps up his own talking makes a bad hearer." (Lenski). We are to patiently absorb what God is teaching us and resist the urge to become angry at God or His Word. Solomon wisely stated "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly." (Proverbs 14:29). Warren Wiersbe comments: "James warns us against getting angry at God’s Word because it reveals our sins to us. Like the man who broke the mirror because he disliked the image in it, people rebel against God’s Word because it tells the truth about them and their sinfulness." These are hard things, I think, for most of us to hear and believe about ourselves. I know this is true for myself. But if I'm honest and put on my x-ray vision, self-inspection glasses, I have to admit that I'm not often "quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." But God in His grace is transforming me to be so.

1 comment:

  1. You have lots to reflect on in your devotional. I am a lot like you in regards to these things. Sometimes the best thing you can do is LISTEN.


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