The Quick and Slow Road to the Good Life

Ever get angry? I’m writing this for humans to read, so I’m going to assume your answer is an affirmative.

Ever get angry and react badly towards the people around you – ever say things rashly that hurt others and made circumstances that much worse?  Again, humans, so I’m assuming, yes.

In the wake of those kinds of outbursts, when feelings are hurt and tensions are high, how does life feel? I mean, does it feel like the good life to you when misunderstandings are ruining relationships and you and others around you are reeling in pain?  Speaking for myself, I don’t characterize those as “good times”.

It appears God has something else in mind for our lives. It will require discipline and a willingness to be humble – but it sounds like a good life to me.  James gives us some practical steps for our journey toward the good life in God in the passage we’ll be reading this Sunday, James 1:19-21.

It’s just a few short verses in which James does not over-elaborate.  “Listen up, shut up and calm down.” If Paul were writing this it would have taken three chapters.

Is it easy or hard for you to really listen to someone else, or gather all the facts before responding? Are you more prone to reacting from your emotions or is it easy for you to keep your cool? When you have been successful in listening in order to understand, have you found it made a difference in how things turned out?

V20 is profound to me. I feel like I need a tattoo of that somewhere on me…maybe my forehead. What do you believe James is saying in that verse?

V21 – how do you think the “implanted word” is “saving your soul”?

Just a few short verses that contain a lifetime of instructions for living.  Should be fun to explore on Sunday.  Hope to see you then!

 

4 comments

  1. Being a good listener is possibly the most underrated human attribute. If we truly listen to what other people are saying, not just waiting for them to finish so that we can talk, I believe grace can take a stronger hold on our relationships.

  2. Reminds me of the verse God has been laying on my heart this week ~ Romans 12:2.

    I think it speaks a little to how the implanted word is working at saving my soul ~ it’s transforming me… making me more like Him. His word is both how I knew I had a need for salvation and the means to which I was able to receive it. Praise God! 🙂

  3. I agree Rob, times of angry outbursts or arguments definitely don’t seem like “the good life”. In fact they leave me feeling sick inside and out..Especially if I was the one who blew up. I’m sure it is because of what vs 20 points out. Anger doesn’t produce God’s righteousness. Nothing good comes out of it. Sound judgements are hindered and there is no peace to be found. But thankfully with God’s help we can learn to respond differently. One of the definitions for graft I found was to implant surgically into a body part to replace a damaged part or compensate for a defect. I thought that was awesome as applied to God’s word. God’s engrafted word saves our soul as it replaces our old nature “the damaged part” and compensates for the effects of the fall in our lives. The other definition was cool too..it read to unite by placing in close contact.. as we are united with Jesus, staying in close contact with “the word made flesh” we are able to humbly respond in self control and reflect His life and peace.

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