The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of July 31
We are God’s image bearers, and our actions matter.
In this chapter, James is talking to people who have been dispersed and encourages them while they face difficult trials. In times of struggle and hardship, it’s easy to think of our needs and emotions. In verse 19, James reminds us to slow down and acknowledge those around us and God’s plan for us.
James says, “Let every person be quick to hear.” It’s easy to talk about ourselves, but James is telling us to be more conscious of when others are speaking and to respect others through listening. He also is telling us to listen when God speaks to us and to take time to follow His direction. After that, he says to be “slow to speak.” He reminds us to think about what we say to others and whether our words will build them up or tear them down.
James also tells us to be “slow to anger.” This is something that doesn’t always come naturally. We often forget to listen, or we do not think before speaking, causing us to react in unrighteous anger. We are called to live like Jesus. Losing our temper does not mirror His actions. Reacting in anger rarely does us any good and in verse 20, James notes that our anger “does not produce the righteousness of God.”
These verses in James help guide how God wants us to be more like Him. Learning and practicing patience takes time and does not always feel natural to us. We as Christians can be examples of how to treat others with kindness and gentleness.