Read James 1
Focus on verse 19-20
That moment when you realize the world is not really going any faster…
I am getting to the age where it is becoming evident that I am not only slowing down, but also losing height – thanks gravity! I am literally getting shorter, and the resident nurse claims this this normal for old people, which would be fine – if I was old! Apparently I have a permanently 27 year old mind stuck in a fifty something year old body, which is only problematic when I try to do things that only 27 year olds should do. On these occasions my body is quick to remind my mind that things are changing! I seem to be slowing down, honestly – I don’t like it!
In today’s reading I was initially encouraged by the admonition of James that there are at least a few things that it might actually be desirable to be “slow” in.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (v. 19-20)
So as I think to myself on this I realize there might be a problem. If James had said, “let every person be quick to smart off, and slow to get moving in the morning, this would have been an easy assignment, but he didn’t. What is ironic to me is that of all the things that I am slowing down in, speaking is not one of them, and though I would not describe myself as a person who gets angry easily, I would have to admit that as I have aged, there are things that get my ire up that never used to bother me.
So apparently, I have it backwards. I’m becoming slower to hear and quicker to speak and get angry, at least that would seem to be the natural trend, and perhaps that is entirely the point James is trying to make. This business of becoming more like Jesus is a process of allowing the Spirit of God that resides within us to over-ride the old nature that used to control us.