Almighty God, You are greater than I can imagine, and Your mercy is new every morning. I bless Your name.
Read James 1:19-27
 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do.  Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the effect of anger on the life God wants us to live?
A while ago, a close friend said something that really irked me. I snapped back, and it got awkward. He apologized. I tried to explain myself but he said something more, and I snapped again. I was in a snapping mood because he got under my skin! Sometimes, I just need to have the last word, which isn’t always my finest word! The counsel “be quick to listen and slow to speak” is for everyone (19) and reveals how tense things had become. Church gatherings had become loud and undignified affairs. It seems people were quick to speak and slow to listen, which typically happens when anger enters the conversation. James implores them to accept God’s Word in humility (21). Accepting means more than letting it go in one ear and out the other (22); it means changing our behavior to match its truth. If we cut each other down instead of doing this, we aren’t true believers, but are living as if God’s Word is forgettable (23). To make it clearer, James points to the practices that reveal true belief. How can you put verse 27 into practice today?
We all know of times when we’ve said something that we regret. Think about someone whose forgiveness you need. Pray for wisdom, and then go clear the air.
Holy Spirit of God, help me keep control of my tongue. Keep my heart and lips clean and my spirit unpolluted as I reach out to others.
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