Do not be fast to get angry, writes James. Instead, remain quiet and listen. “For a man’s anger cannot promote the justice of God.” James advises us to remove from our lives “all that is sordid, and the malice that hurries to excess.”
Malice hurries to excess; hatred engages our emotion, making us blind and deaf to truth. Anger destroys calm. James advises us to keep control over our tongues so that we remain quiet and listen. As we listen to the other calmly, we may find our anger slipping.
Malice builds barriers between us and the other, so that we are incapable of listening to the other side of the story. Therefore, our anger, our malice “cannot promote the justice of God.” The scales are tipped in our favor when we cherish our anger.
Rather, says James, “be sure that you act on the message and do not merely listen; for that would be to mislead yourselves.”
“Quietly accept the message planted in your hearts, which can bring you salvation.” As we remain quiet and calm, we are capable of creating peace with the other and so “promote the justice of God.”