Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20

“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 (CSB – Read the chapter)

I don’t usually come back to the same passage quite so soon after talking about it on a given day, but I just couldn’t think of any more relevant a word for what I am seeing happen in my little corner of the world right now than what James wrote here. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about anger and why people seem so angry all the time these days. Then, this past week, I’ve watched people be angry and stay angry and my mind went back to James’ wisdom. What are they angry about? On the surface, a bit of cloth, thread, and elastic that can’t cost more than about fifty cents. Let’s talk this morning about masks.

Continue reading “Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20”

Digging in Deeper: James 1:19

“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.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you noticed lately that everyone seems angry? No matter what the issue nowadays, it feels a bit like anger is the only tool in our toolboxes anymore. You pick what the situation may be. Someone is arrested and things don’t go as smoothly as they normally do. Anger. The markets drop like a stone. Anger. Covid infection rates go up…or down. Anger. Schools wrestle with what will be the best approaches this year to keep students safe while fostering a genuine learning environment. Anger. The Olympics are starting. Anger. Congress acts. Anger. Congress doesn’t act. Anger. The line is longer than usual at the grocery store. Anger. Anger, anger, anger. What’s wrong with us? This morning I don’t have any recent media reviews for you. Instead, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why we are so angry as a people. I’d like to share some thoughts if you’ll have them.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 9:19

“He replied to them, ‘You unbelieving generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you are a parent, have you ever finally lost it with your kids? I’m not talking about a time when you fussed at them and they settled down from whatever tiff they were working out among them. I’m talking about a time when you finally blew your top. They had been at each other’s throats and argumentative with you over an extended period of time. You tried to be patient at first, but that ran out an hour ago. You upped the ante to sterner warnings and assurances of punishment if the chaos didn’t abate and that failed to take. At last you just erupted at them. Everybody got yelled at. Everybody’s feelings were hurt. Everybody was then sent to their rooms to sulk for the rest of the day and probably forever. My take is that if you haven’t hit that particular parenting milestone, one of three things is true: Your kids are too young and haven’t quite gotten to the age where that kind of thing starts happening; your kids are too perfect and you need to check to make sure they haven’t been replaced by body doubles; or you are Jesus. Actually, scratch that last one. As this passage reminds us, even Jesus hit His frustration max on occasion. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20

“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.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We could all use just a little bit more listening lately, couldn’t we? And yet, here I am speaking…well, writing anyway. But I tend to write like I talk (as perhaps the audio gives away), so I guess I’m speaking. I’ve actually had the opportunity lately to be a part of a few different conversations on recent events. I’m grateful for that. I’ve learned much and also had reaffirmed some things I thought to be true beforehand. May I share some of that with you?

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Morning Musing: Micah 7:1

“How sad for me! For I am like one who — when the summer fruit has been gathered after the gleaning of the grape harvest — finds no grape cluster to eat, no early fig, which I crave.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

If there’s any one word that is most often used to describe the Old Testament prophets, what do you think it would be? For me some words like judgmental and mean come to mind. That’s the kind of characterizations I often see them given in the culture at large. If there was a single word that was most used, though, it would be the word angry. That word is common. But is it right? Maybe not. Let’s talk about it.

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