“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20
Social media has provided a gateway for expression. What started out a decade ago as a way for friends and family to share photos, reconnect, and share our lives has now become a plethora of harsh words, unfounded opinions, and of course fake news. Like anything good, Satan can snatch it up in a flash and run rampant with just a slight difference of opinion. Like anything, however, what Satan means for evil, God can and will use for His glory. There will always be those who will condemn us and try to stir us up because of the way we live or because of our faith. How do we glorify God in these times and situations? James provides the answer here in chapter one.
Though social media was non existent as James was penning these words, the words he was divinely inspired to write are just as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago. We should first and foremost be quick to listen. When someone has something to say or type, we don’t need to start pounding the keys right away. We should read, pray, and slowly and thoughtfully reply, being slow to speak.
James concludes by saying we should be slow to anger. He doesn’t just give us the command, but he gives us the why: human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. There is nothing that anger, especially behind a keyboard, accomplishes in God’s righteousness.
The social media world is watching, and they see how we respond. Next time you are compelled to hit the keys, ask yourself: are my actions about to glorify God? May we all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger…all for the glory of God.
Father, sometimes social media is difficult. Sometimes it is hard to read things that may stir my anger, and it is easy to reply without thought. Help me to always remember to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Help me to remember human anger does not accomplish Your righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
What does it mean to you to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger? Using a concordance or internet resources, search the word anger in the Bible. What is righteous anger? What does Jesus have to say about anger?