“You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls” (Reference: James 1:19-21 )
I liked the NRSV that Reading the Anabaptist Bible used. And if you guessed it was because of the salutation, “my beloved”, you guessed correctly. But beyond that salutation there are a fair number of important things to take note of. Such as;
Quick to listen – how often in our busy world have we glossed over what someone was trying to say, or assumed we knew what they meant. Or worse yet, we were thinking what we wanted to say and so did not pay attention to what the other person was saying.
Slow to speak – measured words, spoken only after you know what has been said, communicated, and meant.
Slow to anger – or perhaps never. Feeling anger only on someone’s behalf, and only when it would make needed changes or remedy a wrong. Not anger for our benefit or because of our personal agenda.
No more sordidness – clean, wholesome and without blemish.
No more rank growth – but healthy growth nurtured by the Spirit.
No more wickedness – but purity of heart, soul, and intent.
These things I commend to you beloved, that wrath might not be in your temperament. And that God’s wrath might not be directed at you. Selah!