We all know how difficult it can be to get through the week. There are a variety of ventures we are tasked with maintaining through the week but let’s be honest: It gets a little tough to carry those things out on a continual basis.
Mondays are tough but Wednesdays seem to be a tougher day to get through. You’re 3 days into the work week and while Friday may seem closer, it feels as if it will never arrive. Well, I’m here to try to help.
I want to try to be an encouragement to those who read (Hi those who read!) this blog. My goal, from day one, has always been to give hope to the hopeless and be a light where it can be quite dark sometimes. My motivation for starting this “Mid-week Motivator” series is simply to give you encouragement from the Bible. Yes, the Bible.
I’m aiming to make this a weekly thing but I’m also aiming for it to be a series devoted to communication. I want to hear what you’re thinking, how the text comes alive to you, and what you’re learning. I can’t hear those things unless you comment! So, whenever you’re done reading, drop a comment down below and let’s get talking!
Alright, enough chit-chat. Let’s get motivated!
As I said above, the mid part of the week is tough because you’re running low on energy, you may not be sleeping well, and you may have an incredible amount of work to do with very little time. In these instances, emotions can go haywire and before you know it, you’re snapping at those you love, you’re crude to your co-workers, and maybe you even find yourself quietly retreating from the world around you. If that is you, then the Book of James has something for you.
The book of James, found in the New Testament following the book of Hebrews, was written by the half-brother of Jesus. James writes to Christians who were dispersed all throughout the land because of the increasing Roman persecution. The Roman Empire, filled with a vicious hatred for Christians, was murdering them day in and day out. James writes to the first century Christians in an effort to give them hope despite their persecution.
The first chapter of James is an incredibly difficult one to swallow. James, right off of the bat, says
“Count it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2 (HCSB)
I’m sure that you’ve heard that verse a time or two and may have even scoffed at the idea. It truly comes across as preposterous but James is incredibly serious. He’s calling his brothers and sisters to rejoice in their sufferings because the name of God is being glorified. This theme continues on through the chapter and even in to the two verses we’ll be digging into.
“My dearly beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.” James 1:19-21 (HCSB)
We come to these three verses understanding that the context of James’ letter is within that of suffering. When James calls his brothers and sisters to endure suffering, he also calls them to do so with a good attitude. In the midst of their difficulty, James calls them to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Why? “Man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”
In our everyday life, how often are we quick to listen, apt to keep our mouth shut, and able to remain calm? What happens when your husband/wife intentionally pushes your buttons? What happens when your kid won’t listen to anything that you tell them to do? What happens when your boss is consistently telling you how to do your job without ever giving you credit for your hard work?
Do you snap? Or are you quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger?
You may be wondering how we do such things as Christians. How in the world are we supposed to follow what these verses say when everything inside of us is saying to do the opposite?
Thankfully, James doesn’t leave us hanging. Look at v.21 again.
“Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.”
Or, in other words, “The only way you can do this is by submitting to God and immersing yourself in his word.”
Our sin nature prohibits us from being like this! We are naturally inclined to lash out and to ignore. We were born with that propensity and we cannot do it on our own. It’s not an excuse, its reality.
With that said, we are able to overcome our natural tendencies through humility and through the Word of God.
Here are 3 quick takeaways for today:
1.) Humble yourself: You’re not any better than the other person talking to/at you!
2.) Get rid of the sin that is holding you captive: You can only do this by asking God to forgive you and then changing to become like the person God commands you be.
3.) Immerse yourself in the Word of God: This is the only way you and I can remain humble, calm, and respectful in the midst of trying circumstances.
As you go through the rest of your week, keep this in mind when you’re tempted to lash out. God wants to create in you the person He demands you become. You can’t do it on your own so stop trying! He loves you, He is strengthening you, and He can do this in your heart. Trust him!
There’s your Mid-Week Motivator, folks. Try practicing these principles this week and see what a difference they can make! Leave a comment below and let’s chat!