As we concluded our weekly study in the book of James, I have reflected on some of the things that I have learned. One of the most impactful passages for my own life was found in chapter 1. We see throughout this book that James is showing us evidence of true faith in Jesus. One of those tests is listed in chapter 1, how are we responding to the Word of God?
I’ve always read verses 19-20 where it says “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,” and I thought that it had nothing to do with the rest of the chapter. But when we read it in context, we see that the previous verse mentions the “word of truth,” and the following verses mention “the implanted word” and being a “doer of the word,” etc. What would being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger have to do with the Word of God?
The answer is simple. How often do we approach the Bible only wanting to hear what WE want to hear? Probably more often than we’d like to admit. How often do we try to explain away passages in the Word that we don’t like? We read Luke 18 or Matthew 19 about the rich young ruler, and we ask ourselves “how can I get around that?” We’re too quick to say what WE want God’s Word to really mean. And how often have you seen someone who goes as far as to get angry at what they see in Scripture? In each of these things, James is showing us the importance as Christians of humbling ourselves before God and His Word. He commands us to “put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21 ESV)
How are you responding to the Word of God today? Are you quick to hear it, slow to speak, and slow to anger? Your response matters.