In one week my baby girl will turn eleven years old. That’s hard to believe. I’m excited because we (Robin, Chris, and I) will be heading down to North Carolina that day as well. Jamie has been down there for two weeks now and seems to be having a good time. We will be picking Chris up from camp and leaving from there so it will be late Friday night getting there. We’ll celebrate Jamie’s big day on Saturday.
I was reading from James earlier and have really been thinking about a couple things from the first chapter. In the ESV verses 5 through 8 read like this:
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith,with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man,unstable in all his ways.
When it comes to certain things don’t we all lack wisdom? Aren’t there questions that we just don’t have the answers to? I sure don’t know everything. Sometimes I forget that instead of banging my head against the wall trying to figure out on my own, I should ask God. If I really do believe that God has the answers (I do) then I should ask Him and believe that He will reveal the things I need to know.
A few verses later, beginning with verse 19, we read:
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear,slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word,which is able to save your souls.
How much more peace would there be in the world if we all took that to heart? What would happen if we honestly listened to what people had to say without blurting the first thing that came to mind? What if we carefully chose our words so that we didn’t deliberately offend or hurt others? What if we surrendered our personal anger and let God’s righteousness lead us? The next verse says to do what the word says and don’t just hear it. I think there are too many people (and I have been guilty as well) who don’t bother listening. They just want to shout over everyone else and prove themselves right. They want to have the last word as if that makes them right.
Proverbs 17:27-28 (ESV) is one of my favorite passages of Scripture.
27 Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
I haven’t always restrained my words and I sure haven’t had a cool spirit all of the time. Too many times I have opened my mouth at the wrong time and proven just how little I knew or understood. You know, there is a lot of stuff going in our world today. There is a lot of hate, pain, misunderstanding, and overall nastiness. There are people on both sides of every issue who are too busy running their mouths and making things worse. As I said in an earlier post, I do my very best to stay out of those types of conversations. I don’t want to say something stupid and let that be an excuse for others to think less of Jesus.
I know that I won’t be 100% consistent. I think that’s why I’ve decided to say less and less. I really am trying to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Before I chime in on anything I want to make sure that the words I say or write are going to show the love of Christ. If they don’t, well, I just don’t need to share them at all.
Grace and peace