Summary: Three keys to the Christian faith!
James 1:19-20-“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires.
There are three rules for righteousness—be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
The rules are universal—every person is included in the commands. When James addresses the rules to “every person,” the language is deliberate. He is making the instruction individually applicable to each individual. None of us are excused.
1-QUICK TO HEAR
God expects us to listen, especially attending the preaching and teaching of the Word that we might learn what is taught from the pulpit and through the Word.
So many Christians or church-goers try to make excuses why we cannot obey God in this matter…Family is coming, we are tired, we needed a day of recreation, our children have soccer practice, a football practice, or a school activity.
You don’t do something quick with out put effort into it!
Do you make the effort to hear God’s word?
Most of us don’t need hearing aids; we just need aid in hearing.
Proverbs 1:5-A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, (NKJV)
Ecclesiastes 3:7-A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
Proverbs 8:32-35-“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord; (NKJV)
Mark 4:23-“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The reason Jesus said that was because He knew…Not Only Do We Have The Ability To Tune Someone Out; We Have A Tendency To Do It.
"God still comes, where he can find someone quiet enough to listen and alone enough to heed."
After Roberta Israeloff’s in-laws returned to New York from wintering in Florida, her mother-in law called her to tell her about the drive home. They ran into one car problem after another. Three times the car broke down, once on a bridge in the middle of rush hour.
Right as Roberta was going to tell her own worst "break down" story, her mother-in-law had to hang up because someone was at her door, but before she said goodbye she said this to her daughter-in-law. "Thank you for listening, but thank you most of all for not telling me your worst car story."
How many times has that happened to you? You really need to talk to someone and you really need for them to listen. Maybe it is about a problem with your parents, or with a teacher, and before you finish your story, your friend interrupts and says, "Yeah, my parents did the same thing to me," and then they start their story. Inside you want to scream and say, wait a minute, I need to talk, I don’t want your advise, I just want your ear. But instead, you patiently wait as they talk about ancient history while you are thinking about current events.
James is discussing how God communicates with us through His written Word, the Bible. The Bible is God’s message to us, God’s love letter to mankind.
James, however, reminds us that communication is a two-way street. We must be willing to listen to God with a desire to understand what He is saying. The leads us two the second rule.
2-SLOW TO SPEAK
Ecclesiastes 5:2-3-Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words. (NKJV)
Proverbs 13:3-He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. (NKJV)
Proverbs 10:19-In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. (NKJV)
Proverbs 17:27-He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. (NKJV)
It is interesting that people often feel they have to tell you what they know. How much they know – But the Bible reverses this & tells us that the more you know, the less you say.
Joyce West-Go ahead and keep talking and show me how dumb you are!
When we hear what God is saying, we must resist the temptation to argue with God’s Word.
Slow to speak of what we have to say!
3-SLOW TO ANGER
Proverbs 14:17-A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated. (NKJV)
Just as “slow to speak” does not mean never to speak, so “slow to anger” does not mean that we are never to be angry.