Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. (James 1:18-21/NLT)
I've often experienced verse 18 being used to address how we interact with each other. Teaching us that when we are working to manage our relationships with each other we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. However, upon this particular reading of the scripture, God turned it towards my personal relationship with Him. I began to hear the following questions . . . Have you done this in our relationship? Are you quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry when I speak to you?
Honestly, this was a hard moment for me. It was a moment that layers were pulled back and I was exposed. Because being in this place with the Father is not unfamiliar to me, I knew exeactly what God was trying to accomplish in this moment. God was challenging me to GROW. He wanted me to see myself and know that yes there have been times that I didn't listen, that I interrupted His voice with my own, and that I've even gotten angry with God because of His instructions. And because He has me writing this blog on the topic, I know that I'm not the only one.
Beyond having this reflective moment of evaluating my own reactions to God's voice and instructions, He also tied in the later part of verse 21. He made sure that I understood that not only was I to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry, but I had to be sure that I was humbly accepting the word He already planted in my heart. There are some things that God has already spoken that I must continually humbly accept, because that very word has the power to save my soul. There are some things that I already know to be true that I have to keep at the forefront of my mind and make sure that I'm being consistently obedient to observe. And again, I know I'm not alone.
I pray that my transparency today allows you to see this scripture in a new light for your own life. That it causes you to be honest with the Father and sparks radical change in your relationship with Him. I pray that today begins a new journey for you in your walk with Christ, one that is open, honest, receptive, and fiercely obedient. May you reap all the benefits of your obedience in this season.