Trials and temptations can upset our spiritual pace.
- Our anger and sin speeds up
- Our listening and obeying slow down
Getting our pace wrong leads to spiritual defeat. But there’s a way to change our spiritual pace right that leads to spiritual victory. In James 1:19-25, James shows us two training strategies to change our pace and finish the race.
1. SLOW DOWN YOUR MOUTH AND YOUR RAGE
- Be slow to speak: “Let every person be…slow to speak” (19).
- Be slow to anger: “Let every person be…slow to anger… for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (19, 20)
Summary: Slow your mouth and rage to speed up your race.
Question: That’s easy to say, but how do I do this?
2. SPEED UP YOUR EARS AND YOUR HANDS
- Be fast to hear: “Let every person be quick to hear…receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (19, 21). But hearing is not enough.
- Be fast to do: “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (22-25).
Summary: Hear and do the Word to run and finish the race.
LIVING THE BIBLE
Change the pace of speaking, raging, hearing, and doing to finish the race.
PRAYING THE BIBLE
Lord, you are calm in all circumstances. We are not. Trials and temptations can upset our spiritual pace. They can make us speed to anger and sin, but slow our listening and obedience.
Slow down our mouths and our rage. Speed up our ears and our hands.
We are amazed at you Lord Jesus because even when you faced the greatest ever trials and temptations, you were slow to speak, slow to anger, speedy to hear, and speedy to do.
Therefore, change our pace of speaking, hearing, and doing in order that we finish the race. Amen.