How do we live our lives? Do we have a "Sunday Face"? Or do we practice what we preach? Regardless of how we answer the above questions, we could all take the advice of the apostle James.
James wrote his epistle to Jewish Christians, who were scattered. The entire epistle of James is filled with advice on how to become a mature believer in Jesus Christ. The epistle of James is also filled with advice on how we should live. At times, it seems as though James is stepping on our toes. However, he has some very good answers to the question, "How should Christians live?"
So how should we live? One of the more well-known pieces of advice that James gives to believers is to be quick to hear. This is vital. When we take the time to listen, we are showing the person who is speaking that we care about him or her. If a person is not a Christian, taking the time to listen to him or her may provide an opportunity for salvation to someone who previously did not know Jesus Christ. However, if this person is a Christian, we should listen to them, because we would expect the same out of our Christian brother or sister.
However, James gives us a second piece of advice. He tells us that we should be slow to speak. We should always think about our responses. If we are giving advice, it is our responsibility to ensure that this advice is Biblically sound. If we are correcting an issue, we must also ensure that the words we say and the actions we take are Biblically sound and would be acceptable to Jesus. We should not be angry when we speak to anyone (this is something that I need to work on). This leads me to the final point.
The final piece of advice that James gives us is that we should be slow to anger. We are not told that we can never be angry. Elsewhere in Scripture, we are told to "Be angry and do not sin." (Ephesians 4:26). We are to be patient, and avoid becoming quickly angry. However, when we do become angry, we are to avoid sinning. James continues on to tell us why: "for man's anger does not accomplish God's righteousness."
The major question to ask here, then, is this: How are we going to apply what James teaches? Personally, I am going to commit to calming down before confronting someone who has made me angry. How about you?