Consider this a prequel to last week's verse of the week.
As I looked at the constant need for greater selflessness, my cross references sent me back to this verse earlier in James 1:19,20, "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."
I know in my own life, human anger generally finds a stronghold in selfishness. When I get defensive, feel offended, or think I "deserve" something, that anger can begin to surface.
Like just a minute ago. When my son wanted to pull a pile of books off his book shelf when he should be in bed, and I feel the right to enjoy some quiet time at my computer. And just then, I have effectively shut down the factory of God's righteousness in my home.
Conviction -- the Holy Spirit is constantly at work. One of the great challenges in blogging so often about my faith is the fact that I so often fail. These words each week are what God is speaking to me through His Word and where that Word hits my life experiences each day. These overflow from the teaching of God in my own life, the flashlight shined on the areas of weakness, the school teacher drilling my lessons I still need to master, the comforter speaking gentle words of encouragement.
These simple verses carry a great challenge. Quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. I won't accomplish anything good on my own -- hearing slowing, speaking quickly, and not attempting to check my anger. On the other hand, if I step back and let God produce His Righteousness in the situation my anger won't get in the way any longer.
Tough calling. Great promise. Worth every effort I can put toward it.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.