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