“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without fault and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, for he will pass away like the wildflower. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the plant; it’s blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.”
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because, when he has stood the test, he will receive the Crown of Life that God has promised to all who love him.”
“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me’, for God cannot be tempted by evil nor does he tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly light, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.”
Awesome! We’re memorizing James 1 with God’s help and we’re doing great! God is doing most of it at this point, right? Because it’s a lot and no way would we be this far without the help of the Holy Spirit!
Here’s the next verse:
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
It’s hard to listen – I need to get better at it.
It’s hard to be slow to speak – I need to get better at that, too.
Well, here’s one I don’t have a lot of issues with – anger. One out of three 🙂
God is telling us that we should be all about listening to the word of truth. Focused. Committed.
Being slow to speak will help us keep away from the temptation to say things we shouldn’t say. It will give us more time to listen.
And, when we are angry, we aren’t open to the truth. We’re turned inward and only considering ourselves. Not concerned about others.
Dear Father, We ask for your help in being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Please grow these qualities in us.