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James 1:20

Jun 20, 2019   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Daily Writing, Epistles, Epistles (written), James (epistles), James (written), Writings  //  7 Comments

Thursday, 20 June 2019

…for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20

James had just said that believers should be “slow to wrath.” He now explains this beginning with, “for the wrath of man.” In the Bible, the idea of wrath is found numerous times; quite often wrath is ascribed to God. His anger is said to rise, and it is then worked out in His correction of what brought about the wrath. But, the wrath of God is a result of His just, righteous, and holy character. There is nothing arbitrary or vindictive about it. In fact, in understanding the nature of God, we see that God doesn’t change. He doesn’t “get” angry in the way we think. Rather, it is man who changes in relation to Him, and that results in His corrective action.

However, man is not like God. He goes from one state to another. And such a change in man is often fraught with problems. Man can get angry over a lack of food, too much constant noise, by being needled by another, etc. At times, he can go from holding back his anger to a sudden outpouring of it without having given any clue that he was angry in the first place. His wrath can also be vindictive and arbitrary.

In such demonstrations of emotion, James says that this wrath “does not produce the righteousness of God.” When God’s wrath is displayed, it is because His law is violated. It is given to correct this. When man’s wrath is displayed, it will often cause a violation of God’s law. Thus, the exact opposite result is seen at times in man in comparison to that of God. In man’s wrath, God’s righteousness is not produced. Instead, it is further violated. What is being spoken of here is not an increase in God’s righteousness, as if God can be affected by our actions, but rather it is speaking of a decrease of His righteous character in the one who displays wrath. God remains unchanged through the process.

For this reason, man needs to be “slow to wrath.” We are to display wrath only in a controlled way, and only when it will cause us to reflect God’s righteous character.

Life application: Generally, people who fail to listen and are quick to speak are also the type to burst into anger more readily. That may be because they want to control the situation with their words and when they can’t, the next step is to blow up in anger.

But James says (and which is painfully obvious to those around such a person) that this doesn’t bring about a righteous life. In fact, it normally demonstrates just the opposite.

When two people are debating an issue, the one who is calm and even normally (but not always) has the proper view on the matter. The one who is excited and verbally abusive normally doesn’t have a leg to stand on and therefore he can only defend his position in this way. The language and actions belie any sense of righteousness or godly character.

To see this type of discourse close up, just turn on the news and watch two people debate a political issue – one will be from the left and one from the right. When one of them starts fidgeting, elevating his voice, making unwarranted accusations, and even becoming angry, that person is most likely attempting to defend an indefensible position and is also not living out a righteous life (at least at the moment) which God desires.

By watching people behave this way, we can learn what not to do – but be careful you don’t get yourself sucked into the conversation and start yelling at your TV! When you engage in conversation, listen a lot, speak a little, and avoid ungodly anger. By doing so, you will demonstrate wisdom in your interactions.

Lord, You know what pushes our buttons and also those things which cause us to lose our cool. Give us wisdom when we speak so that we might not sin against You with our mouths. Help us to have salt in our speech and a gentle attitude towards those we may not agree with. This we pray so that You will be glorified, and that we will have peace in our conversations. Amen.



    • Sorry Charlie but I have the immediate urge to talk to my tv talking heads when certain leftist views are touted. Sometimes I chortle out of incredulity. I have been known to ” ban” certain guests on the left using my fast forward button, and give the host of the show a ” what are you thinking when you invited that person on?.”
      Love you brother

      • Me too. I can get yelling at those folks. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • amen thank you

  • So many people have a hair trigger for anger it’s like a monkey on their back fuled by emotions and not rational thought or common sense. I don’t have a hair trigger but a fuse that was medium at first but could burn fast under the right conditions, After stepping back one day and seariously looking at one of my anger out breaks I didn’t like what I saw. Ya there were a few times I got so made at something ( mostly myself for an inability to do something) I didn’t even remember what I was saying until my wife repeted it to me Ouch. Eye opening. I have since made every effort to analyze what I think are stressful situations before I open my mouth, listen as best as I can and hopefully bring calm back into the conversation. Though I have been able to turn my anger fuse into a long slow burning one though I still worry of the possibility of shall we say the perfect storm comes along and turns my fuse into a hair trigger! While we are in this world I have to accept this and be on guard against it. And yes there is blood involved sometimes, you can’t bite your tongue that hard and not draw blood lol I guess I will chalk this up to auto fingers as I had no idea I was going to walk down memory lane here. I guess I will just say if you have a short fuse or a hair trigger for anger you can change it, I did. Thank you lord for helping me to keep my fuse we To!

    We ARE another day closer to home
    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God bless my friends we fly soon

    • You are right bro. I have to bite the tongue and draw blood often… 🙂

  • God bless all. Have a marvelous evening.

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