Scripture Passage: James 1:19-20
James 1:18 says, “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.” If we are Christians, others should see evidence of a new life in us through our new behavior.
James 1:19-20 describes this new behavior, saying, “Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
“Be swift to hear.” Tune in to what God is saying to you. A lot of us are addicted to noise. We are searching for things to drown out the silence because we don’t want to stop and think. We create so much noise around us that we can’t hear from God! But God speaks to us through Scripture, sermons and His Spirit; if we can’t hear Him, it is because we aren’t listening.
“Be slow to speak.” Tone down the talking. Many of us talk too much. The more we talk, the more we can reveal the foolishness of our hearts. God takes our words very seriously, even if we don’t. In Scripture, we are warned that any words we speak that don’t build up, edify or help others are destructive words, we’re going to have to give an account for them.
“Be slow to wrath.” Sweetening up is the natural succession of the first two instructions. When we listen more and talk less, it affects our temper. We learn to control our hearts. The Bible doesn’t say to not be angry. It says to be angry without sinning. Make certain that you are angry for the right reason, at the right thing, in the right way. Nothing can hurt your testimony, kill your influence and reveal your character more than a quick temper.
Adrian Rogers says, “Jesus Christ did not come to make us nice people. He came to make us new creatures.”
When you listen more, you talk less and control your temper, you will find yourself being a better example of a new creation in Christ.
Do you need to work on listening more, talking less and controlling your spirit? Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as you practice tuning in, toning down and sweetening up today.