Overview: James is a very practical book with some specific instructions to live our lives in and through Him. We will cover the second half of this chapter beginning in verse 19. James challenges us to manage our anger and to be good listeners. We must listen more and speak less. This is because God gave us two ears to hear and only one mouth to speak. We must listen to His Word and respond by becoming doers of the Word (verse 22).
Focus: Verse 23-24 talk of a man looking at his face in a mirror and immediately forgetting what he looks like when he walks away. We must look and prayerfully evaluate our lives. God will reveal where we need to make changes. We must read His Word and do what He says. One of James tougher instructions is learning to control our tongue (verse 26, and Ephesians 4:29). Controlling my tongue has been a challenge in another kind of communication. Many years ago, a friend e-mailed me and was very negative toward me and blasted me using all kind of accusations and verbal abuse. I did what every idiot would do and blasted him back with a reply. I did regret what I did. I talked to him and asked for him to forgive me and we are friends now, although we do not see much of one another. Many use Facebook to do this today. They can abuse a person or group without having a face to face conversation. I sometimes type a response and then delete the reply, knowing I would become like them. Reading people’s criticism of others and utilizing their “rights” to free speech, is a great motivation for me to to watch my time on Facebook. Are there rights beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23)?
How to Apply: Below is a list of issues we can pray about and evaluate in our lives for this coming week:
- controlling our anger – verse 19
- be a doer -verse 22
- controlling our tongue – verse 26
- looking after orphans and widows – verse 27
- being controlled by God and not by the world – verse 27