Summary: James informs us to live a life worthy of Christ therefore we need to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. He gives us the 3 keys to having great relationships with others and with God.
Who me Lord? – James 1:19-27
Thesis: James informs us to live a life worthy of Christ therefore we need to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. He gives us the 3 keys to having great relationships with others and with God.
Texts: James 1:19-27
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, 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. 22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. 26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Video Clip: From Survivor on the importance of being quick to listen, being slow to speak and being slow to become angry.
I believe this contestant on survivor will be one of the finalist if he keeps this attitude in the game. He has learned an important secret of success on this island it’s really all about inter- personal -relationships. The ability to survive with others on the island and even in the world hinges on these three spiritual and physical disciplines. The ability to over come obstacles in life – trials and tribulations of life- rests on whether you have mastered these three disciplines. The survivor game is designed to place people in very difficult positions, lack of food, lack of shelter, lack of comfort, strangers being thrown into relationships with others who are not your best friends. You have to learn to work as a team which requires teamwork – and good communication skills. You have to deal with people not like you! You have to deal with unfair circumstances on this island. There are those who win and those who lose. You have to adjust to this if you are going to survive. The same is true in real life and James is telling a scattered church that you need to have some spiritual and mental disciplines if you are going to make it. If you want the type of life Jesus is looking for you must get these areas of your life under control.
T.S - So let us look at these three spiritual, mental and emotional disciplines.
I. Who me? Listen? – James 1:19
a. Our society has been affected by the “Hurry up sickness” which hinders the important character trait of being quick to listen! You hear these excuses to justify not listening:
i. “I’m to busy to sit down quietly and listen!”
ii. “I have to run the kids every where they want to go!” “I’m in a rush maybe later!”
iii. “I have to work 70 hours a week to pay for all my stuff!” “I’m exhausted I cannot listen!”
iv. “If I sit down and do nothing but listen I’m wasting valuable time!”
v. “I have things to do, people to see!” “We will talk later!”
vi. “I’m to tired I worked 12 hours today!” “Not now!”
b. Bustanoby states, “Ironically enough, the key to communication is not sending messages but receiving them. Communication always breaks down if one or both partners fails to listen”(227).
i. James tells us that one of the signs of wisdom from above is to be quick to listen. Being quick to listen also sets us on the path of the righteous life that Jesus desires us to have.
ii. The reason most people can not distinguish between God’s voice and other voices is because they have not spent time listening to God when he speaks.
1. “My sheep will know my voice!” Jesus said but sadly a lot do not know his voice because they have not learned to be “Quick to Listen”
iii. The other reason people fail to listen is they are moving a mile a minute. It’s hard to listen if your always on the go. Where is the time to focus on listening in your life?