Becoming like Christ is our goal. His Spirit lives in us and leads us, but it’s still hard work. Our sin nature rebels.
1 Whoever loves [the LORD’s] discipline loves knowledge [from the Word of God], but whoever hates correction is stupid [spiritually ignorant and rebellious].
To keep from being stupid (spiritually ignorant and rebellious), let’s learn from the Word of God:
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 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. James 1:19-21
- Brothers and sisters- we ALL are to take part in this exercise.
- Quick to listen, slow to speak- we have been given two ears and only one mouth; use them accordingly.
- Slow to become angry- James gives us the reason immediately after: “Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
- It’s OUR anger and not God’s, so don’t claim a righteous anger;
- It produces, but not what God wants;
- God desires us to have His righteousness, the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- Moral filth- Thoughts and actions that are not Spirit-led.
- Prevalent evil- the enemy is always lurking, seeking those lambs who wander away from the Shepherd. STAY CLOSE TO THE SHEPHERD.
- Humbly accept the Word planted in you- The Spirit has planted His Word in our hearts and lives; cultivate it. Why?
- His Word- Because it can save you from all kinds of pitfalls, temptations, hidden snares, heartache and damage. “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I [Christ] have come to give life in abundance.” John 10:10
In order to give ourselves time to respond rather than react, we must step back mentally so that we can get an objective perspective to the situation. Stepping back requires maturity and patience, so don’t think that it’s easy or that you will learn it quickly. At the same time, it will bring great rewards to those who choose to practice it. We need some tools, though. We will talk about those tools tomorrow.
For today, let’s ask the LORD to reveal to us evil and filth in our lives, whether it is on us or simply around us. Then, let’s read His Word and humbly accept His message for us today.
Abba, I humbly receive and accept Your message concerning anger. May I be quick to listen, slow to speak, and even slower to get angry. I will leave judgment to You, LORD, and I will focus on being kind and compassionate. May my words be full of grace, seasoned with the salt of Your teaching, O LORD. Amen.