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  • Rev. Marsha Brown

Devotional: Week of 7/13


Weekly Devotional Scripture: James 1:19–27 (NIV)

LISTEN & LEARN

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.


Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone

who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his

face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what

he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and

continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.


Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their

tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our

Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their

distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:19–27 (NIV)


On one side of the street a homeowner displays in his yard a giant blow up bald eagle

draped in a US flag. A big truck sits in the driveway. Its side window features a painted

flag and the back bumper is covered with patriotic stickers. Directly across the street in a

neighbor’s yard are signs that highlight the slogans for current social justice issues in

the news.


Are the people in these homes feuding or friends? we might wonder. Is it possible that

both families are believers in Jesus? God calls us to live out the words of James 1:19:

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Too often

we stubbornly hold on to our opinions and aren’t willing to consider what others are

thinking. Matthew Henry's Commentary has this to say: “We should be swift to hear

reason and truth on all sides, and be slow to speak . . . and, when we do speak, there

should be nothing of wrath.”


Someone has said, “Learning requires listening.” The practical words from God in the

book of James can only be accomplished if we’re filled with God’s loving Spirit and

choose to respect others. He’s willing to help us make changes in our hearts and

attitudes. Are we open to listen and learn?


By: Anne Cetas


Prayer

You know me, God. I can be opinionated sometimes. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

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