Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 July 2019 James 1:19.

James 1:19.    ​Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
 

And then it was Tuesday…Whatever happened to Monday eh – the day that we thought would kill us, that we’d never get through? Ah mih people, like all those other Mondays, which we thought would be so destructive to our psyche and body, it has gone the way of the dodo, spinning uselessly into the annals of History, no more to be seen again! 

Wow! What philosophical enlightenment! (smile) But here is something that we seemingly cannot, or just will not put into practice: ‘A Quiet Tongue!’ This from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I just could not pass it up because it’s so apropos to our loud and oh so talkative times! I’ve shared it before, but it’s one of those reminders that we need to hear again and again. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, a revealing fact Began to surface today: I talk more than I listen. I seem to be thoroughly convinced That my ideas My inspiring experiences My bits of wisdom Are exactly what all my friends need. Too often I break into conversations Confident that my enlightened insight Will solve the predicament – Whatever it is. Obviously I feel more comfortable When I’m expounding. 

But this morning at a Bible Study I cringed when I read Your command In the first chapter of James: “Don’t ever forget That it is best to listen much Speak little, and not become angry.” At first I wanted to run. But as the words kept battering away At my guilty heart I finally circled them with red ink. Now, Lord, please help me to obey them. Remind me daily, hourly That listening is a discipline and a discipline always costs. I know I must pay a price. The price for me Is a listening ear And a quiet tongue.’ 

Mama Mia! How true is that of so many of us, believers included! And the sad part is that the sudden surge in communication technology has made it even worse. It’s like a free for all out there now with the advent of social media and all its octopus-like tentacles, reaching into every aspect of modern day society and creating such a loud, ear–hurting noise that many of us have to run from it. Or we’d be wise to run from it. 

We talk so much that half the time we don’t even know or understand what we’re saying. But you can’t say that to anybody, because we all feel we’re so knowledgeable about whatever situation we choose to expound on. The truth is though, that most of us don’t know a blooming important thing about most of the things we choose to expound on! (smile) 

And we’d be so much better off if we’d just shut up for a while and listen, that’s listen attentively, rather than talk, than break into conversations that we know li’l if anything about. What a quiet and wonderful place our world would be if only Christians did that eh! And it’s not like that the Good Book has not commanded us to do so. But who listens to the Good Book nowadays eh, unless it’s something that’s convenient for us eh? 

And the Bible verse for our poem and our Bit for today is that of James’ awesome warning. ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And is that ever so true friends! 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars on those two verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ That’s stuff we’d do well to read and put into practice! ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ 

You can’t dispute that friends. But who listens nowadays eh? Not too many of us, since we all want to be the focus of everybody else’s attention! But hear these wise words from Cousin Sol nuh: ‘In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.’ (Prov.10:19) Gospel truth that! The more we talk the more chance we have of committing sin. 

And then there’s this: ‘He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent (calm) spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace (keeps silent) is counted (considered) wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.’ (Prov.17:27-28) 

Oh mih breddren, mih breddren, what wonderful words of wisdom and advice from the supposedly wisest man that ever lived; Cousin Sol! Please, please, let’s wake up and take it nuh, because we’re talking ourselves into more and more difficulties and disasters every day. Just listen to the explosive rhetoric that’s being passed back and forth by our world leaders today nuh; it’s nothing but ammunition for anger, strife and war, of which we already have more than enough in this troubled world. 

So I implore us to not heighten the ammunition level, but rather lower it, by talking less and listening more. And now that we’ve taken all of that o heart, written it indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups, wrong again!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with a sincere sense of purpose: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And now it’s time for us to go out and share that unconditional, undying LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, as He so greatly desires of us! Much LOVE!

…set a watch (guard), O Lord…before my mouth…keep (watch over) the door of my lips… (Ps.141:3)

 

 

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