"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls."
James 1:19-21 ESV
In this passage, James is stressing the importance of being in control of our reactions. He instructs us to be quick to listen and slow to speak, to put away things that would keep us from the righteousness of Christ and to be washed in the word. Emphasizing humility and reading the word, he is outlining what it looks like for men and women of God to be constant and faithful to their responsibilities and relationships.
James teaches us that as followers of God we can walk into a room and set the temperature of the atmosphere, instead of adjusting ourselves to whatever we walk into. That by reading God's word and being quick to listen and slow to speak, we can take following him from our prayer closet and into our friendships and classrooms.
This means we aren't only commanded to learn about Jesus, but to become like him - and that it is possible! We can set aside the things that hold us back from righteousness and peace. We can take our thoughts captive and choose to believe what is true over what isn't. We can be in the middle of an explosive argument, take a breath, and invite peace in. By listening to James we can walk into a room that is full of tension and instead of being a thermometer and adjusting to that tension, we can be a thermostat and infuse that room with joy and peace!
Father, thank you that you are teaching me to be like you. Please help me pause throughout the day and remember what you are teaching me. Give me a deeper desire to read your word and listen to you. Show me when I need to pause, and show me how to invite you into every situation I am in. I love you, help me love you more. Amen.