Sunday, October 25, 2015

Keep A Tight Rein On Your Tongue

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo SundayTongue_zpszenxwoyo.jpg

In these verses there is a chronology to what we should do:  
1. We must listen to God - Be "quick to listen" to God's Word, God's desires & God's will for our life. 
2.  We must do what God says  - action must follow hearing.
3.  Finally, hold our tongue - we must be "slow to speak and slow to become angry".

Humility is the key to listening.  Think about being arrogant and bragging while listening - it's impossible!!  Just like it is stated in the verses above "humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you."  The Word of God is like a seed that grows within us - growing into a mature Christ-like believer.
God can speak to us through others      
 our Heavenly Father can speak through us to others.

Listening takes time.  If God places someone in your pathway - listen - God might be working through that person to talk to you!  Or - you might have been placed in someone's life in order that God might speak through you!  Either way, we need to pay attention & listen to the urgings of the Holy Spirit.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says."  This world is so full of "self" - self respect, self confidence, self image etc - the worst type of "self deception" is to hear the Word of God and not put it into action!!  Doing must follow the hearing.

"Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent" - we are to deal with our sin and strive to never sin again.  Being saved through the Blood of Jesus is not a "get out of jail free card".  Yes, we are forgiven and that forgiveness is unlimited but we still have to continually work at being a better person changing our actions to be Christ-like instead of being worldly.

If we do this we will be blessed:  "But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does."  Never forget what you have heard from God and continue "doing" his will for your entire life.

This is the most difficult part for many - I'm speaking from personal experience because "anger" has been a lifetime struggle for me. 
"Slow to speak" & "slow to anger" are similar in some instances.  Let's think about someone who is a "chatterbox" and loves to gossip - always talking about this person and that person - never allowing anytime to listen to anyone.  This is a selfish act.  Now, let's think about someone who constantly "flies off the handle" and yells in anger because that individual is always taking things personally and is always offended and hurt by any little word - that too is a selfish act.  If both of these personality types were to think of others before themselves they would find being "slow to speak" & "slow to anger" easier tasks.

"........for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life, that God Desires."  I can't tell you how many times in my life that I have said something that I didn't mean to say - something hurtful, insensitive or even mean all because I reacted instead of responded.  A reaction is a spur of the moment lashing out whereas a response requires thinking first.  If I had taken the time to think first I would have been able to hold my tongue.  These quick to anger reactions are not what God desires.
I must clarify something - there will be times when we as Christians will need to stand up and speak up for what we believe in!!  Passionate justice is different than irrational anger.  In the verses above - James is talking about the "fly off the handle" irrational type of anger not decent God fearing Justice.


by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg

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