Coming Back to the Basics
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.
The author of this book urges the people to come back to something very basic in their human interactions.. and that is to be first to humble yourself before another while taking a moment to absorb, internalize, and understand them before quickly jumping to conclusions on our own. Our fallen and selfish nature easily gravitates to first making it a point that our voices are heard. Reacting according to the flesh makes the assumption that we are right, the opinions of others don’t matter, and that there’s only one side to the story. The author warns that going about this method sets us apart from the Lord, and leads to the deterioration of our souls which eventually will lead to death.
We now live within a generation where social media has allowed people a new form of extending their anger beyond basic human interaction. The unleashing of rants, bullying and new methods of taking revenge go out even to people we’ve never met before, and is arising out a new form of aggression that promotes others to fall into heavy engagement while doing the same or even worse, or what I call a new form of cowardice. These very same people lack the audacity to sit face to face to carry out a normal, fruitful conversation simply because they lack the basic skills and find it much easier to hide behind their screens and keyboards. James is implying that we must come back to the basics, engage with one another in love, and interact within a way that is respectuful honorable, and loving. So many of us even lack the basic skills while sitting across another with undivided attention, eye contact, listening, understanding, and responding to what’s been said. The Lord designed us live within within the context of community (real human interaction, not only through our devices) as it is within this environment that the Word of God can truly be lived out. It’s through coming back to the basics of human interaction, facing each other in the midst of conflict, and developing the eyes of God and learning to see and love others and He intended is where the righteousness of the Lord will manifest and prevail.
Thank you Lord for this reminder of how powerful it is to be face to face with others and live out Your word in the context of offline community! It’s so easy to hide behind our devices while missing out on opportunities of growth before You and others. I pray for our new small group in October that it will be a safe place where many can come out of hiding and be restored back into the design of community and relationship that You specifically intended.