My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life 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. James 1:19-21 (NIV)
Do you want to live the life that I have called you to live? Yes, I want to live the life that you have called me to live. Who would say no to such a question? You would be surprised. There is something very important that you must do if you want to live the life that I have called you to live. What’s that? You must set aside your pride. You will never be able to live the godly and righteous life that I am calling you to live if you do not set aside your pride. Why is that? It is your pride that makes you slow to listen and quick to speak. It is your pride that leads you to think that you know it all. Do you know it all? Certainly not, I don’t know it all. Are your thoughts and words and opinions more valuable than others? I wouldn’t say so. At least you are smart enough not to say so. What do you mean by that? When you are so slow to listen and quick to speak isn’t it because you believe that your thoughts and opinions are so valuable, perhaps more valuable than what others have to offer? Is that really true? Is that what has been at work in my life? Have I been so filled with pride that I don’t really listen to others. Is that why I’m thinking about what I might say next rather than listening to what others are saying now? You tell me. I think I have been filled with pride. Pride has led me to be slow to listen and quick to speak. Was that hard to admit? It was hard to see and hard to admit. But, it gets worse. How does it get worse? Not only has my pride made me slow to listen and quick to speak, it has also made me quick to get angry. Pride has not only led me to think that I know it all. It has also led me to think that I am always right. Pridefully thinking that I am always right is a quick and easy step to anger. Why is that? Not everyone thinks I’m always right. That is hard to imagine. You’re kidding me, right? Yes, I am kidding you. It should come as no great revelation that you are not always right. It should come as no big surprise that others will disagree with your thoughts and words. So where does all this leave you? What must you do if you want to live the life I am calling you to live? It has come clearly to me now. I see your point. I agree with you. I must set aside my pride if I want to live the godly and righteous life that you are calling me to live. That is what I will do. That is very good.
Lord, I have been filled with pride. I have been slow to listen. I have been quick to speak. I have been quick to become angry. Use your word to change my heart, transform my mind, and guide my life. Help me to live the godly life you have called me to live. Amen
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