Hurry Up and Listen
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; - James 1:19
In this verse, James is saying, “Hurry up and listen!” I am fairly certain that this is not what most of us are in a hurry to do these days. We are predisposed and trained to rush to judge, rush to speak, rush to explain, argue and rush to rationalize. James is specifically asking believers of Jesus to be humble and quick to listen concerning how they respond to the Word of God. We often approach God’s Word and rush to judgment, rush to speak, rush to explain, argue and rush to rationalize away God’s commands at times too. There is no way around it, there are some difficult verses in the Bible.
For example, Peter states, “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9. Or what about this doozy, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15
When we are slow to hear and quick to speak, we receive the Word and are already formulating our argument for how it does not apply to us or our situation. “BUT GOD, surely you are not talking about me?” “Surely, there are some instances where it is justified to repay evil?” We are trained to rush to explain away the parts of God’s Word that make us uncomfortable. We are inclined to rush to rationalize parts of God’s Word that might confront us and anger us.
James goes on to say that this is not good for us. It will not produce righteousness. He attaches and attributes this sort of attitude to filthiness and sin. His advice is simple, PUT IT AWAY, and HUMBLY RECEIVE THE WORD OF GOD.
You will be blessed by simply being a bit slower to speak and a bit quicker to listen. GREAT ADVICE.