James- Day 11

Devotion for Monday, September 12th, 2011

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
James 1:19

Pastor Ben’s Commentary:

This word “wherefore” helps bridge a transition from the text we studied last week to this weeks text.  What did we learn last week?

  • We are called to endure temptation.
  • Temptation finds its’ source in our unholy desires.  Temptation doesn’t come from a completely holy and righteous God.
  • Everything good we have comes from God, who doesn’t change and will keep his promises.  Our salvation is even proof of the goodness that He has for us in the future!

Knowing this, James calls us to 3 responses in verse 19-20.

  • Swift to hear- We should be quick to listen, especially when what we are listening to is God’s Word!
  • Slow to speak- Proverbs 10:19 gives great wisdom here.  “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
  • Slow to wrath- Wrath here speaks of angry responses when we are not really listening (especially to God’s Word), and are reacting to partial information because we haven’t listened.  James says this doesn’t produce the righteousness of God in us or in others.  This is exactly opposite of how God acts.  In Romans 2:4, Paul asks the reader if they understand how God has responded to them.  ” Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”  It is God’s goodness, patience and longsuffering that leads to repentance, not man’s wrath (anger, hasty/reactive response to God and others).


The application of just this verse could revolutionize so many of the relationships that we have.  Speaking to our relationship with God, it may look like intentionally learning from His Word and intentionally putting ourselves in environments where we can learn from Him.  In our family relationships this approach to communication would really defuse a lot of the relational bombs that go off in our homes every day.  Today, when you find yourself getting angry at what someone is saying ask yourself, “Am I being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger?”

31 thoughts on “James- Day 11

  1. This is really good advice! I automatically thought of the way I talk to my siblings when I read this! Most of the time if they say something that makes me angry, I’m quick to listen, quick to speak, and even quick with anger. I tend to snap at them easily sometimes because it’s so easy to do. This verse is really going to help me because I don’t want my siblings thinking that I’m trying to be a nag or that I’m “better” then them cause I’m not at all! I just love them and I think I know what’s best when a lot of the times I don’t. I’m going to practice this today, as well as in school! Quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow with anger!
    Have a great monday everyone! Praying for you guys! 🙂

  2. Tristian Lechien

    Exactly just like Mel said when I read this I immediately thought of my brothers. They drive me nuts but I love them. They have helped me get through a lot of things. And next time I’m mad I shouldn’t just yell at them I should slow down and think about what I’m doing. 🙂 school today! But oh well! 🙂

  3. Mafalda Delienne

    I font have any brothers or sisters that like get me mad, but I get mad at my mom sometimes because she has like an image she wants me to be but then I think that she’s just doing what she thinks is right for me abd what she thinks is best and that she loves me.

  4. Blake via

    When it sees slow to speak it means think before you speak before you say something that will hurt some one think then speak. And quick to listen people who just goof of during church there is good stuff in those messages:).

  5. Alexis Catapane

    One thing that comes to mind when I read these verses is my relationship with my Grandma. She’s very opinionated, and we used to argue all the time because both of us thought we were right! Over the years as I’ve grown up a little, I’ve learned to keep quiet more and avoid arguments with her and it definitely has helped our relationship! I think I should be swift to hear and slow to speak with all my relationships! It would help a lot! For example, if someone says something to offend you or something that hurts you, being slow to speak might help you and give you time to think about what the best thing to say in that situation is and what God would want you to do! And this is also true in my relationship with God, if I’m focused on listening to Him and trying to learn as much as I can, it will really help me grow! 🙂

  6. Like Mel and Tristian said when they get mad at their siblings,they tend 2 snap at them or act like their better then them.The first thing that came 2 my mind is think before u speak! When we get upset w/ someone,we sometimes just blurt out something,and after saying it,u realize what u hv done 2 that person and hurt their feelings.But then i realize how much i hv been through w/ them and think should i hv really done that? Is that something that Jesus would do? These verses also remind me of being christ like! When in situations like that,u should think 2 ur self,what would jesus do? P.S.,my grandpa got out of the hospital on friday!!! He’s doing a little better.they r going 2 take the stent out this coming friday(i hv no idea what that is?!?!) his color hasn’t really changed but im soooo glad he’s out!!!!!! 🙂 Thanks for all of ur prayers!! 🙂

  7. Hey guys im glad your on today, keep it up! 🙂
    I know that i am not always quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. If i hear something i dont wanna hear i get mad fast.. & lately i’ve been trying to control that. God’s been working in my life to help me thru temptations and to think before i act. Today a girl called me the b-word in school for no reason, & i got mad.. But i knew that God wouldnt want me to be mean back. So i brushed it off. I prayed for peace & wisdom throughout the day, and God really gave me that 🙂 the words we say leave a huge impact whether we think it or not, & James is so wise in saying we need to be quick to hear, but slow to speak & with our wrath. I’m not perfect by any means when it comes to this causr i snap on my siblings all the time.. & its definitley something i need to work on!!

    1. Mackenzie

      I think that was only (right and Godly) thing to do someday her actions will have a consequence!!! you know what they say what you reap is what you sow! <3333 🙂

  8. Mikayla

    so what i learned is not to take it out on people when u get mad. today at taekwondo i just got fed up with a kid a was not very nice to him. we played this game when u ran and are supposed to knock them over and i knocked mack down a too hard. I’m glad i read this and i will try not to take things out on people now. 🙂

  9. Laura

    I know that i am guilty of the above. I need to think and pray before I react. This is not easy especially if we feel wronged. Good devotion today.

  10. Mackenzie

    What i got out of this was…We need to be Quick to listen and slow to answer! We need to think before we speak! I know that sometimes if somebody talks bad about my friends or family or for anybody really i tend to get a little upset. But I know that I just have to Ignore the mean spirited world! Sometimes i feel like saying things that aren’t necessarily Godly or setting a good example! If they keep talking bad about them i will say, “hey would you like somebody to talk like that about you?” or I will say ” Hey guys that’s enough stop it” or go see another person about it! Watch your words is what I’m saying. Bullying often leads to death even if it seems like it wouldn’t hert that much it does to them. So basically watch what you say! 😀 -Mackenzie<3

  11. Sandi Volskay

    This message made me think of all the things I have said in my life that I wish I could take back. Once an unkind word is said, it is too late. The damage is done. James gives us really good advice. We should really listen to people and think before we speak. And never let anger cause us to say something we will feel sorry for later. I need to work on that, especially with my family.

  12. What I got out of tis is that you sould think about what you are going to say befor you say it cause those words can really hurt someone if you say the wrong thing snd the wrong time or it is just wrong all the time. But we all make mistakes and that could happen to anyone. But we should al try to watch what we say for w week and see hwo that works out??…

  13. Ryan via

    What I got out of this is listen to what God and other people are saying, and think before I speak or act. This is great advice because like a lot of you I have siblings and I can be very quick to say something that offends.

  14. Megan

    I am guilty of the quick to speak portion like most people. I sometimes have an opinion and often I share it before I think. 😦 even just today I have been very quick to speak and it hasn’t been very godly for sure. I need to work on that and practice asking God for continued wisdom as we have learned about in previous verses. 🙂

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