Our scripture this morning is James 1:19-22.

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. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

James is a letter that shares a lot of wisdom in just a few pages. The writer focuses on Christ’s example for us and applying His teachings in our lives. In this passage we hear we must “all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry”, reminding us that we are responsible for our response to others.

He writes that we must avoid the things that distract us from our intended purpose, and “humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts”. The word we have been given “has the power to save your souls”. We already have the answers from God woven into us from our very creation, but we must choose to hear and apply them.

Later in this letter he teaches that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20), amplifying the instruction “you must do what it says”. Knowing and doing are linked together in God’s kingdom. If we know the word but do not take on the work that it entails, we are not accomplishing all God has planned for us. Without taking action we are only fooling ourselves.

Loving Lord, thank for the gift of Your son to teach us Your way and save us from our sin. Help us to be attentive listeners and energetic doers of Your word. Amen.

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