Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:
everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish
the righteousness of God. (Jas 1:19-20)
When I was young, my dad began his attempts to teach me how to build, how to use power tools, how to pull wire for electrical projects. When working with wood, he taught me the age-old maxim: Measure twice, cut once.
Actually, dad usually measured three or four times — at least — before making the cut, as he was such a perfectionist.
If we applied that same maxim to life, things might not be as bad as they are. Before we open our mouths in criticism or judgment of another, it would be good to think about what we are saying, why we are saying it, and what the ramifications of our speech would be.
Before we act toward another, we should think about what we are going to do, why we are going to do it, and what the ramifications of our action would be.
James really did hit it right on the head when he admonished the early Christian community to be quick to hear yet slow to speak or to anger. Because, after all, anger does not accomplish the righteousness of God.
Our angry talk, our derisive speech, these things are not of God. God does not want us to cut each other down, He wants us to build each other up. It cannot be accomplished if we are too busy hacking at another person’s ego or reputation. It cannot be accomplished if we are harming another person.
The righteousness of God can only be accomplished when we build one another up.
FAITH ACTION: Have you been unduly harsh toward or critical of someone? Rethink what you are doing and, if possible, try to make amends.