Slow to speak, slow to get angry
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 1:19-21 NLT
The society advocates that people express their emotions, whether good or bad, peaceful or provocative, godly or ungodly. But the word of God reminds the believers to listen to God and carefully process through their response using the wisdom that God provides. This is what James is emphasizing from the text. Christians should not pretend that they are obeying God and yet not truly listen to His commands. They should know better the power of God’s word for it is His word that we are transformed to the person He wants us to be. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16). The admonition to every believer is to manifest God’s transforming power through their attitude and speech. “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” This attitude should be reflected as we relate to one another and to God. We show that we understood God’s word when the message is applied in the way we relate to others. Anger does not reflect God’s righteousness. It creates hostility and prohibits the opportunity for a Christian to be a blessing to others. It also affects our service and worship to God. Instead of indulging to attitudes that are contrary to godliness, we should remove those that are unpleasing to God and let His word planted in our hearts produce its fruits. “You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). It is only by appropriating the principles learned from His word that will provide us victory over filth and evil desires. This is what proves the working of God in our lives when our goal is to pursue Christ-likeness. Let us submit ourselves to God and allow His word transform our lives. “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12).