Practical Theology-James 1:19-20

James 1:19-20  “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

Giacomo 1:19-20Sappiate questo, fratelli miei carissimi: che ogni uomo sia pronto ad ascoltare, lento a parlare, lento all’ira; 20 perché l’ira dell’uomo non compie la giustizia di Dio.”


     The Book of James is called the New Testament’s book on practical theology. As a pastor, James gives good counsel to his brothers on how to live out their faith. His series of commands are rich in helping any believer develop a godly character. He starts out by reminding his brothers of the importance of what he is going to say: “take note of this”. In other words, write it down so you don’t forget it!

     James knew that from time to time believers would run into differences with other believers. As much as we think we are mature, we can ruin our testimony and relationships by not practicing a simple threefold plan. First, practice the fine art of listening. Our thinking and data are usually biased and defensive. Listening will allow us to discover information and the heart of our brother that we may not know. But listening can be hard when we are anxious to tell our side. Next, we should choose our words carefully (slow to speak). When we think before we speak, we won’t need to apologize for a poor choice of words. Many church squabbles are a result of short tempers and an unwillingness to listen to others. If a disagreement arises, our attitude and motives should be checked first before we speak. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter did just the opposite. He was slow to listen but quick to speak and get angry. It resulted in a violent act by him with a sword and Jesus had to step in. Here, James is pleading with believers to control any anger that might rise from conflicts and learn to listen not only to the other party but more importantly to the Lord who can solve the most difficult circumstances. This is the kind of practical righteous life that God desires (v. 20).

Pray with me: Lord, during conflicts, I, like other believers, have been guilty of not listening before reacting. Help me to learn the practical truths from James on how to respond in stressful conflicts.

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