Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
All of last week, I did my lessons on the book of James, on the truth that God uses adversity to make us dig into Christ, with the result being that we become like him. And all of last week, I was going through a trial of struggling to feed my little boy. S had decided that he wanted to eat with bottles, not nurse as he had been, and I was fighting him to feed him my way, not his way. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday we made progress to the point that Sunday he nursed well all day with little to no fussing afterward. Then, that evening, J and I left him with my mum so we could go to a Chris Tomlin concert. Mum gave S got a bottle, as per my instructions, and all my hard work came crashing down. Yesterday and today were battles with my little boy, trying to get him to eat what is best for him, not what is easy for him. And it all culminated in my crying On the couch in frustration, calling my husband and mum in angry tears, complaining of my furiousness at S and my despair at ever being able to nurse him ever again.
And when I finally snagged a moment to catch up on She Reads Truth, here comes dear brother James. "[Be] slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. Therefore put away all filthiness [...] and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, [...] But the one who looks into the perfect law, [...] and perseveres, [...] he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless."
Did my anger produce any fruit in my son or my self? No, my anger produced more anger, frustration, rage and then guilt that I was angry at a three month old little boy who does not know better,
Did I receive God's word with meekness? No, my heart was filled with the pride that I knew what was best, that trials should not last this long, that I had already learned this, God, why am I still having to fight this war?
Was I a doer of the word I had been studying? No, my faith was not reaching towards God in his promises. My faith was in myself, my strength, my ideas, and my will to power over my son.
Had I bridled my tongue? No, no, no. My tongue was running on an anger fueled, rage induced, streak of madness; yelling at my husband, bitter at my mum, furious at my child, and not doing anything.
I read these verses and my heart grew heavy with conviction. S needed a patient mommy to help him learn and I was being anything but.
Please help me to bridle my tongue, to act on the promises of your word, and to put away my anger and frustration. Let me receive with meekness your imparted gospel, which is able to save my soul.