We usually do the opposite of V. 19. We are often slow to listen but quick to speak and quick to get angry. How can we become better listeners? How can we be more deliberate and calm with our words? How can we be less reactionary with our anger?
In our main text today, James introduces our two final themes: words & actions. We blend the introductions into those themes today.
How do we know if we are putting the word into practice?
One indicator would be less about our outward deeds and more about being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry!
New International Version
Listening and Doing
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.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
Discussion Guide – 10/23/22
Read James 1:19
1. Do you think this describes you?
2. What are some examples of how we might do the exact opposite of this verse? (Slow to listen; quick to speak and quick to get angry)
3. Can you think of anyone who models what it looks like to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry? If so, can you share why you think they exemplify this verse?
4. Also, would you be willing to send them a note (text, email, etc.) and let them know you are thankful for their influence in your life?
James 1:20, 21
5. What triggers your anger and why?
6. How do you normally respond when you are angry? (Yell, hit something, shut down, etc.)
7. Is there a difference between temporarily being angry about something and living in chronic anger?
8. Compare this to Matthew 5:21-24
9. What steps can we take to reduce our anger responses?
-What stands out to you from this reading?
-Why do we look in the mirror?
-Have you ever read the Bible and then immediately forgotten what you read? Why is that? (zoned out, distracted, etc.)
-What does it look like to put the word into practice?