Meditations on James 1:19-25

  • v19-21, Anger is valuable when it is controlled and directed. Anger can move the passion of a person in motivation, such as starting or supporting an organization to prevent drunk driving versus shooting the drunk driver. Uncontrolled anger and not listening, gives people a false impression of God and has an extreme negative impact on others for the faith (Col. 3:8; James 3:18; 5:7). The Bible tells us that our anger has a place, but that we should not allow it to cause us to sin! Jesus saw His Father’s house of worship and prayer turned into a greedy market, and he modeled the correct way to use our hostility (Mat. 18:15-17; 21:12-13). Anger can be a solution or a real problem, depending on how we handle it. Anger can also become evil. Literally, it is the rotten fruit unhitched from our temper and loss of control. The Holy Spirit will restrain us but only in the parameters of our will to control our anger (Rom. 8:11; 2 Thess. 2:6; 1 John 4:4). Temper can be valuable if we submit it to God’s cultivation and care. God created each of us with two ears and one tongue, therefore his design and will is for us to do twice as much listening as we do talking. The lack of listening and the abundance of anger, especially when it is out of control, will create a destructive environment for the Christian and the Church (Prov. 27:9). What we should be listening to above all is God’s message. Why is it a necessity to put the Word of God into our daily life? Have we considered how it affects how we feel, how we are, and how it transforms us in how we treat others?
  • v21 “engrafted” or “implanted” is a very important word which every Christian should completely understand from James. Read 2 Pet. 1: 3-11. God calls us to take His Word and allow Him to plant it in us just like a gardener would plant a vineyard or orchard, then allow our efforts in Him and the work of the Spirit to grow His fruit in order to produce the character of Christ in our lives to impact others around us. How can this transpire more effectively in us?
  •  v23-24, “Doer”, The Greek word poietes is rooted in the idea of performing poetry. Reading poetry in silence to yourself is not as effective as reading it aloud with feeling. The performance of reading as an orator is good for you as well as others who hear. The same can be said for whatever Biblical passage you read, we must make a physical effort to live out the point of a passage, not just parrot it on a Sunday. This kind of performer may, at first attempt, feel hypocritical, but with faithful endurance and prayer, the “doer” will become real and natural as fruit growing and maturing, not because of the quality of my performance but because the passage is living & activated by the Spirit of God in Christ! I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”  Romans 1:16-17  
  • v25, Notice the phrase changes from “doer of the word” into “doer of the work”. One letter makes all the difference. Christians are not just reflecting Christ as the light of the world, we are supposed to be enlightening the world with Christ, that is work!  Do you fully believe when the Bible has impacted us, we will make a response to it?  What would our congregation look like if more people were “doers of the Word?” Please read Matthew 5:14-16.

I desire to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

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