19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:19-22; NKJV)
Perspective and process. God gives us His perspective and is teaching us how to see our world from an heavenly perspective. He also provides us process for our lives and the order does matter. Here, we are to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. If we are swift in our hearing of His word then we will have a heart prepared to be swift to hear another while seeking to understand rather than be understood. This requires us to listen first and not speak first. It requires us to consider God’s Word, what another is saying, and then humbly respond. In all of this, we need to remember that wrath comes last not first and that the wrath of man does not produce righteousness of God which should be our goal.
The focus really is us as individuals here and not others. We are to lay aside filthiness and wickedness so that we can humbly receive His implanted word. In elevating God and others in our lives, He will save our souls. If that is the focus, then we can be Godly communicators and humbly maintain our cool. If we leave evil behind and receive His word, then we will find salvation and share salvation.
All of this is active. Though we receive and we react to God’s word, we do so deliberately and purposefully. It might not be a lot each and every day but we focus on and we do what we can in in line with what God’s word says. This changes us and changes our relationships. We determine to listen…to God’s word and to others. We determine to understand and apply it and allow it to work in our lives. We purposefully turn away from evil and choose good. In all of it, we are emboldened in our humility and God will work in our lives and our relationships. Perspective and process do matter to God. Reflect on His perspective through His word and work to maintain His process in your life.