Friday, November 27, 2009

Hurry Up! Slow Down!

Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Pastor James has so many gems of wisdom in his epistle. I suppose his admonition in verse 5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" is born out of personal experience.

Here, in verses 19 and 20, he shares some of the most profoundly simple words of wisdom in his entire letter.

"Simmer down, shut up and listen" are words that will keep us out of trouble and give us the advantage to use the wisdom we asked for back in verse 5.
When are we hot-heads going to learn that our violent passions never do a lick of good? Nothing positive ever results by our “losing it.”

When we fail to listen, but instead insert our uninformed opinions and ill-conceived tempers several things result:

1. We lose the respect of others. The respect which we may have carefully built over years of careful cultivation can be stripped away in a moment of rage. Treasure and protect the respect you have gained.

2. We surrender favor and effectiveness. You want and need people to like you, Christianity and the God you serve. We are to “adorn” the gospel. It is necessary that you have a platform of favor if you wish people to heed what you have to say. A fit of anger undermines that foundation of favor and renders you ineffective with those who have witnessed your wrath.

3. We instill fear and loathing. Perfect love casts out fear. It is hard to love a wrathful, angry person. Nobody wishes to be in the company of people with anger control problems. Anger effectively burns bridges of trust and fondness.

4. We operate outside of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit in us includes joy and longsuffering. It is obvious to all observers that a person of wrath is living after the flesh rather than being filled with the Spirit of God.

Please, my friend, check your anger. Keep your tongue and instead, listen, gather the facts, act rather than react. In doing so, you will exhibit wisdom as well as the fruit of the Spirit. You will be more likeable, finding favor and the opportunity to be effective in dealing with your loved ones, your Christian family and those with whom you interact.

We wish to affect the righteousness God in self, situation and in others. Our wrath will never accomplish such a noble work.

Hurry up and listen, but slow down, listen so you can simmer down and get things done for God.

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