Skip to main content

James 1:19: Be Quick To Hear, Slow To Speak, Slow To Anger

James 1:19
[19] Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (ESV)

This is one of those verses that seems to mean one thing, but upon further reflection, it actually means something else. At first glance we are reminded of the expression, "Silence is golden, duct tape is silver." It is true that we should listen more and speak less. That is a general principle in life. But that is not what this verse is talking about.

James is talking about the Word of God. We are to be quick to hear the Word of God. We are to be slow to speak the Word of God. We are to be slow to be angered at what the Word of God tells us. That is a great challenge for us. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ the Word of God is to be everything in your life. James tells us some key guidelines in how we should respond to it.

In the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4) the Jews were given an instruction which is referred to as the "Great Shema" The word Shema is a Hebrew word that is translated "hear." But it has a greater meaning than just hearing. It means hear with the intent to obey. This is the same way in which we should be quick to "hear" the Word of God. Hear with the intent to obey.

So, why should we be slow to speak the Word of God? Consider for a moment the damage that could be done if we quickly speak the Word of God without fully understanding what we are saying? Our words could be damaging to people instead of a help. Scripture tells us that those who teach will be held to a higher accountability. Be sure that when you speak the Word you are speaking truth.

We will look tomorrow more at what is meant by not being angered by the Word of God. Anger is a normal human emotion, but if our heart is right with God we should not be angered at what his Word tells us, even if it is a hard Word for us to hear. The bottom line for us is that we should have a right heart when it comes to our hearing the Word, speaking the Word, and responding to the Word.

Spend some time today in his Word. Hear with the intent to obey. When you feel confident in the truth you have found share it with others, soberly, rightfully handling the truth.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co