James 1:19-20

Day 23


James 1:19-20 NIV

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

James 1:19-20 – Messsage

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage.

Personal Paraphrase

Place a high priority on the following.  Let it be kept close to your heart and have impact on how you live.  Be careful and be guarded about how you conduct yourselves.  Listening before speaking is a good character to have.  Be the kind of person who does not just act like you are listening, but is ready to listen with both your ears and your heart. As you listen remember that you don’t always have to speak.  It is good to think about your words.  Take your time putting your words together and only speak that which is Truth and Life.  Then choose to be a person who is not easily angered.  Someone who is not led by their emotions and frustrations, but by Truth.  Our ungodly responses do not produce life, they do not lead us toward the things God has for us, but often produce the fruit of a life that does not please Him.  Time to listen, release life, and be a person of true righteousness.

I find this verse full of life.  I have been called a good listener by people but my heart is not always listening.  I am realizing that if I am not really listening with my whole being I could be already making judgements on the things that I am hearing that are not correct.  If I do that then often I end up speaking out something that is wrong, and the fruit of it is not life.    God is wanting Freda to listen to him, and listen to those in my life who are sharing a part of their life with me.  He is wanting me to not act like I already have the answered to all the problems in the world but to really heart and then only speak that which will be life transformational to them, or to a particular situation.  The lack of listening, and being too quick to speak can produce anger that is not in line with righteousness.  These are not the characteristics I want in my life.  I want him.

How can I apply this?  Today, in my interaction with people I am going to choose to be more intentional in hearing them.  I will be more intentional in not speaking up so quickly, and even if something frustrates me, I will choose the way of righteousness over human response.  If I do this one day at a time, it just might change how I conduct my life.


  1. Reply
    Sue says:

    My paraphrase:
    Slow down! Quiet your mind and give full attention. Listen not just with your ears but foremost with your heart. Let’s take it a step further and listen with God’s heart. Don’t let opinions and judgements rush to the forefront. Don’t be ruled by self-centered emotions. Human anger doesn’t come from God and cannot produce the results that God desires … in your life or the life of the one you are listening to.
    If I were to truly practice this there would be a lot less leaping to judgements in my daily walk. I need to first establish in my mind that I don’t already know it all. The simplest way to do this is to fill my mind daily with His Word. I find that I am very quick to make judgements about situations. And then after settling down with the Word and letting God speak to me I can move forward more compassionately. Unfortunately, damage can already be done to relationships (both horizontal & vertical) by then.
    I find that there are two sources that I need to be quick to listen to … the first is God Himself and the second is the voice of my brother/sister/situation . If I have first listened to God and filled myself with Him then it is a lot easier to be slow to speak and slow to anger. I’m listening for His voice in the situation. I’m listening to understand His heart and where He would step in and minister. I’m listening for His council.
    The voice I need to avoid is that of my carnal self … the voice of the flesh. That voice is the one that caused Cain to rise up against Abel, Saul to act in anger toward David, the pharisees to plot against Christ, Saul/Paul to slaughter New Testament Christians and will cause me to wound the heart of the one that Good is calling me to minister to.
    My prayer:
    “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.”

  2. Reply
    Susan Craig says:

    Because you are very dear to me and we are family, I need to speak frankly to you about something I feel is important to share with you. We all need to be listening better before we respond in the flesh to something that makes us angry. Stop and really pay attention to what is being said and why your reaction is what it is before you spew words of anger out of your mouth that you will regret. Step back for a bit and examine your own heart-pray that the Spirit will reveal to you the reasons for your reaction, ask for wisdom to see and understand the other person’s point of view before you respond ie put yourself in their skin. The emotion of anger is not wrong in itself but to act on that feeling of anger before you take the time to pray and understand is wrong because the end result will not please God. God’s desire is that we produce fruit of the Spirit in our lives and anger is not from the spirit but the flesh. Even if you do not understand another person’s point of view,you do not have the right to respond in anger. You need to treat other people the way you want to be treated yourself-sometimes it is best to just agree to disagree and walk away before words are spoken that can’t be taken back. If we want to hear well done from our father,we must learn to obey and follow His way which is forgiveness and understanding-love that sacrifices our desire to be right. It is better to respond in love than to respond in anger. Choose the better way to respond!! When you do,you will be reacting the same way Jesus would and isn’t that supposed to be our desire-to be like HIM???????

  3. Reply
    Karen says:

    Lord, continue to guide Karen’s ears to actively listen with everything she has so that she will slow down her conversation and actions to line up with YOUR righteous plan for her life.

  4. Reply
    Pat McRae says:

    KJ Wherefore, Pat, My beloved daughter, be swift to hear, open your ears and really listen, slow to speak, close your mouth until I have filled it with sweet words that will bring life, light and liberty, slow to wrath, bridle your anger, ill-temper and self-centered actions.
    You know from past tests that your wrath has not displayed My righteousness but has brought darkness, depression and death to those around you and to you when unleashed.
    I didn’t pass the test on Saturday and it really humbles me every time I allow my anger to rage. Tonight I had another opportunity to pass the same test again. Did I pass? Let’s just say I did better but baby I have along way to go to get a 90%.
    I so love God the Father for equipping me to pass and for giving me lots of opportunities to perfect the work He has begun in me. Thank You Jesus for opening the way and securing at Calvary all I need to pass and You Holy Spirit for leading and guiding me on into my Daddy’s Ways, His truth and His love.

  5. Reply
    Jim Holmes says:

    From James, chapter 1, we read:

    16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 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. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    The scripture today (above) is verse 19, and 20 ..….but I think it better to bring the other scriptures surrounding today’s scripture to help with the interpretation…or to shed a little more light on it all. Below then are my paraphrased thoughts:

    Again it begins with a warning to Christians about not to err followed by a reminder that God is good, and that His gifts are perfect and good. He who dwells in the Light, gives light, revelation, His Son who is the Light of the World. This Light that has come into the world…is Jesus, who is “the Truth”…whose word is true. This Light is steady…God does not change, but is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is through the Word that He obtained us, and made us to be a kind of firstfruit of his creatures…Jesus, and us in Him…a new creation. Wherefore, being a new creation (the old has passed away, being born again, crucified and risen with Jesus, are brothers and sisters in Christ, brethren), we must be swift to hear God Who is righteous (laying apart filthiness and naughtiness) , swift to hear the engrafted Word, hear Jesus, and true hearing is doing the word! ….so you won’t deceive yourself like a man forgetting what what he saw in the mirror when he walks away…forgetting who he was….that he belonged to Jesus!…that he was to live the Word, being spiritually minded, not carnal minded and not of the world. What manner of man are we then? Let us hear and do what we hear and see our Father doing and we will be blessed in our deeds…because we do our Father’s will.

    We will be slow to speak because we want to speak what our Father wants us to say. We know that the tongue can start a fire that is difficult to put out and that if we do not have God’s heart, we can say wrong things. Jesus fulfilled the law, and in Christ we too can look into the perfect law of liberty and abide in it…because it is Christ Jesus abiding in us.

    So also let us be slow get angry…our lives are not our own…it is God that is Righteous. Remember, our righteousness is as filthy rags before God. Our anger does not produce the righteousness of God. Be slow to anger…because you want to know if you are acting on His behalf, expressing what your Father would have you say.

    What stands out in the above passage is this….that you and I are a new creation in Christ Jesus…and so, we are to behave as such!

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