Summary: Part 7 in a series on the book of James

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A Life of Works Produced by Faith

Part 7

“Listen more, Speak Less, and don’t be Angry”

Date: September 29, 2002 p.m Service

Place: Allendale Baptist Church

Text: James 1:19-21


I believe in this passage of Scripture, James shows us the proper attitude should be in anger.

He begins in verse 19 with two words; “So then”. This phrase is very similar to what Paul uses in the word therefore.

James is saying so then, I reference to what I have just said, and this should be your attitude.

· James also calls by name those he is addressing, “My beloved brethren”.

· This is a term of endearment, a phrase of tenderness. I believe he is addressing those Christians whose attitudes are disrupting the fellowship of the Body of Christ.

· Some of the greatest causes of disturbances within the church come not from those on the outside, but Christians with bad attitudes.

· Those that say I am not going to do this because it was not my idea. I don’t think we need a new building. I don’t want our church to get any bigger than is right now.

Let’s see how James addresses this issue.

First his

I. Admonition

A. “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

B. Most of us are anxious to speak, but not willing to hear.

1. Someone once said God gave us two ears & one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we talk.

2. If we could only follow this rule more.

C. But this is not what James is addressing; he is talking about the Word of God.

1. So what James is saying is, “When you are listening to the Word of God, give careful attention. Be quick to hear what God has to say.

2. This can be applied to other areas of our lives but primarily about the Word of God.

C. He goes on to say speak little or be slow to speak.

1. I find it very rude to be interrupted. I don’t like to have people talking when I’m talking, and I try to show people the same respect.

2. But I often wonder if God feels the same way about us.

3. When we come to God are we doing all the talking, when in reality God wants to speak to us?

4. I started to say this morning but stopped about this man at a prayer breakfast yesterday. Some people know every thing and never show it. But some people have a little knowledge about everything but what I like to call them is educated idiots.

5. This man started talking about the world’s problems, and then using Scripture out of context trying to relate to the problem. I just wanted to tell him to shut up and never us God’s word wrongly again.

D. Then James tells us be slow to wrath, or do not become angry.

1. It takes so little to upset folks these days. You can see it everywhere.

2. Anger is an emotion, which should be a controlled emotion.

E. The Word of God has a great deal to say about hearing and speaking

1. Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

2. Proverbs 10:19

3. Proverbs 13:3

4. Proverbs 17:27-28

F. What James is speaking of here is a deep internal resentment and rejection, in the context of this passage of Scripture, of God’s Word.

II. The Adversary

A. Man’s anger does not produce the kind goodness and righteousness God desires for us.

1. Anger that produces grumbling against God, criticism of fellow believers and resentment toward others will not bear the fruit of righteousness.

2. So when we are angry we must ask ourselves

a. Am I angry because this upsets me

b. Because this goes against something I want.

B. Ephesians 4:26 Paul says, “Be angry and do not sin.”

1. So there is a godly anger.

2. Yes, if we see things in our lives and that around us that is not holy and righteous.

C. Then James says our anger will not produce the righteousness of God

1. What is the righteousness of God?

2. Someone has said, “this is a life that is inn agreement with God, a life that is consistent with His ways, a life lived within the context of God’s will and purpose.”

Now James calls us to

III. The Action. Verse 21

A. “Lay aside”

1. This means to take off or shed

2. It implies getting rid of something that is not useful.

B. “All Filthiness and over flow of wickedness”

1. The word filthiness is a medical term referring to wax in the ears.

2. Story of Ryan not being able to hear in the first grade.

3. Just as excess of wax in our ears keeps us from hearing properly, so filthiness in our lives keeps us from hearing God properly.

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