Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
Have you ever begun reading your Bible, thinking everything was fine between you and the Lord, only to have the Word suddenly cut deep into your soul to expose some sin you had neglected or tried to hide? The Holy Spirit uses the Word to penetrate the hidden recesses of the heart and to do His convicting and purifying work. How we respond to this is an indicator of the genuineness of our faith.
“Anger” in James 1:19–20 refers to a negative response to that process. It is a deep internal resentment accompanied by an attitude of rejection. Sometimes that resentment can be subtle. Paul described those who “will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Tim. 4:3). These are the people who drift from church to church in search of someone who will tell them what they want to hear, or a congregation that wants a pastor who will make them feel good about themselves instead of preaching the Word and setting a high standard of holiness.
Receiving the Word includes being quick to hear what it says and slow to anger when it disagrees with our opinions or confronts our sin. Is this our attitude this morning? Do we welcome reproof or do you secretly resent it? May we be always quick to hear what the Word of God says.
Contributed by Alex Townsend