Day 4: James 1:19-22

I have just come back from a short retreat with a bunch of colleagues/friends, so I haven’t had a chance to comment yet.  But it is encouraging to see both the amount of traffic that has come here and to read the thoughtful reflections that you have added.   Thanks!  Here is today’s passage:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.  Therefore, 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.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (TNIV)

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7 thoughts on “Day 4: James 1:19-22

  1. Spending time with this passage this morning, it struck me that I could spend 21 days just asking God to help me live out these verses. There’s just that much here.
    I love how James tells us to ask for wisdom earlier in the chapter and then he spells out what it is: quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. What a great description of the wisest people I know in my own life. I find myself praying that I would grow in those qualities.
    I feel like there’s so much more to say. But the last thing I found myself landing on was the beauty of the image of the word as a seed. In his message on Sunday, Peter spoke powerfully of the living nature of the Scriptures: God-breathed. The Word is alive! And it is planted in me, says James! I just have to accept it. Ultimately, that’s the prayer I’m going into my day with: God, help me to accept your word in me. I don’t just want to listen, I want to do it. (BTW, did the last four words of the passage cut to the heart of anyone else like they did to me? )

  2. What cuts to the quick is the equating of anger with moral filth, or that’s how it appears to me here. I never noticed this in this way before. I ususally think of moral filth as having to do with purity but here God is telling us that anger is at least juxtaposed to and possibly even a kind of moral filth. These are strong words.

  3. “Therefore, 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.”

    I worry that we are losing our grip on what is moral filth and prevalent evil. So often i find myself justifying what i read or see on tv as “just part of culture” or “you have to watch with filters on” or “to be missional we have to watch these shows to keep up with how the world is living”
    And i agree that it is hard in this permissive and liberal society to take a stand against something, but is it so hard to personally and quietly choose to refrain from activities and practices that invite temptation and expose us to evil? Todays passage does not say: “justify what you do” it warns us to not decieve ourselves.
    Do what it says.

  4. All the verses and the other comments remind me this world is deprived and full of sins. Were it not so God would not have had to work out a plan of salvation. So in a wierd way, I wonder if I am thankful for sin, as it caused a salvation plan? do you know what I mean? Just thinking aloud, so to speak (write).

  5. The last four words cut hard for me as well. I grew up in a Christian home, went to Christian School, University. I always prided myself on my knowledge of the Bible and Reformed Doctrine. But that’s just it, I know it, but how well do I actually live it? It’s so easy for us to be Sunday Christians in the safe bubble of church, but we are called to live it – everyday school, work, in our social lives. I can honestly say I have a lot of work to do in these areas.

  6. There are many things said in this passage. Through the middle there is a common thread in the commands – listen, humbly accept, and do it.

    I really appreciate slowly and deeply meditating on passages of scripture (we read it three times in succession), and taking time to write thoughts and later reading thoughts that others have had. Now of course I have to do what it says.

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