Summary: An exposition on the Book of James
James Chapter 1:19-27
See no evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil, and Do no Evil
There are within the church people who do not the set out to do wrong, but through a failure to carefully examine their own life, in the light of the Word of God, fail themselves, their family, their church, and their witness to the closely watching public.
“Introspection” - is the self-examination of one's conscious thoughts and feelings
As a kid I spent a whole lot of time sitting outside just contemplating my life and the world around me (me time). But I do not think children today have the same advantage. There are too many things to replace the “me time” today for kinds. And for adults it is even worse.
In 1967, 45 years ago, Charles Hummel wrote the classic book: “Tyranny of the Urgent” where he describes the telephone as one of the worst offenders to our peace and complacency. Tyranny - Cruel and oppressive government or rule
In this case those things which we consider urgent to get done are controlling and oppressing our life. They are stealing away our life!
If that was true 45 years ago where are we today. He identified our problem as not an issue with time as much as an issue with priorities.
The devil figured it out. If he can keep us preoccupied with everything else around us, then we will never get to God. This is a great temptation.
Therefore: We need to really identify what is important in life. We need to avoid the temptation to hurry through life, never examining our life.
Remember James is an expert on never examining ones own life. He grew up with God sleeping in the same house as he, but never getting to know him. Now his brother Jesus is in Heaven and the only way he can spend time with him is in prayer.
James makes it clear that there is always temptation, lurking about, looking for a place to creep into your life. Thus James say:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; verse 2
But James Concludes: Blessed [is] the man that endures temptation: (i.e. without sin)
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him. verse 12
So in James chapter one, verse 19 we find James driving us toward self examination.
Jam 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.
Jam 1:21-22 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jam 1:23-25 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Jam 1:26-27 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion [is] vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (Jam 1:19):
Swift to Hear - God gave you two ears and one mouth. Now think about that. It means that He wants you to hear twice as much as what you speak.
You cannot hear when your mind is somewhere else or your mouth is in gear
Slow to Speak - Don't be so quick to speak. If I'd only been slower to speak. If I had only kept my mouth shut, how much easier things could have been for me in life. When we are quick to speak, we are so often wrong.
Slow to Anger – The people we have burned with our tongue. I think we could stop right there with our sermon and have an alter call to repentance. We would fill up the front of the church.
For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.
Nothing we do in anger is going to bring about any of God’s righteousness
Wherefore set aside all the filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness (20-21),
overpowering residue of your former life