19 My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21 Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you. 22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works —this person will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Have you ever had a friend who, no sooner than you started to share a story, interrupted and took over the conversation? As we look at this portion of Scripture, we will find some great guidelines for hearing and doing—and also what not to hear or do. This is our time to be quiet and listen to God's Word without interruption.
James’ “List of Do's.”
- Be quick to listen to God's voice. Always respect the person who is speaking and listen with interest.
- Receive God's Word into your heart and life and it will keep you from many a sin. Study your Bible daily, attend Bible studies that are offered, and glean truth from our worship services.
- Be a doer of God's Word by serving Him daily at work, at home, or at play. Always be alert to opportunities for service to our Lord. You don't want to forget what kind of person God wants you to be, and "being" and "doing" go together.
- Read and ponder on a portion of God's Word daily.
- Persevere, or we might say, "Keep at it," and God will enlighten your mind and heart.
- Act on what you know to do, serving God daily with deeds of kindness and love. Join the Nurture Team on Tuesdays to help spread God's love and kindness to other.
- Control your tongue, which may be the hardest thing James asks us to do.
- Keep your life pure and clean so the world may know you belong to Jesus.
- Widows and orphans should have a number one spot in your service to God.
- Keep yourself spotless, without sin before the world.
Now, that is quite a list, but there is more.
James’ “List of Don'ts”:
- Do not speak with anger.
- Get rid of all immorality and evil from your life.
- Don't refuse to listen to someone in need of a friendly ear.
- Don't be a forgetful hearer. Try to remember something of what you hear from our pastor, your LIFE Group, and your friends.
- Tame your tongue. We have always heard of saving the best until last. I don't think James did that. He hits us pretty hard with this one.
Let's be doers of what we hear. History tells us that James' knees were as hard as the knees of camels from kneeling in constant prayer. What can we do better in our lives?
- Read the passage of Scripture again and put the reference by each point in the List of Do's.
- Reread and put the Scripture references in the List of Don'ts.
- Make a plan for listening better in the worship hour and in your LIFE Group.
- Memorize the one verse from these two lists that will help you in your Christian walk.