“The Wrath of Man” ( James 1: 20-22, WYC ) by Carley Evans

James warns us to cast aside “plenty of malice” for “the wrath of man” does not work “the rightwiseness of God.” Then he bluntly tells us to be “doers of the Word” so that we do not deceive ourselves. James tells us it is not enough to hear Jesus; we must follow after Him.

Presently we see a great deal of “the wrath of man” as well as “plenty of malice.” Just examine your local newspaper if you doubt this is true. The problem is that Christians are expressing this same “wrath” and “malice;” this is unfortunate as our malice and wrath do not work “the rightwiseness of God.”

We are to be doers of the Word.

1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word. [In the beginning was the word, that is, God’s Son, and the word was at God, and God was the word.]

This was in the beginning at God.

All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing [nought], that thing that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men;

and the light shineth in darknesses, and [the] darknesses comprehended not it. (John 1: 1-5, WYC)

Jesus is the Word; and He is Light who shines in darkness. The darkness does not understand ( or overcome ) the Light of Love, who is Jesus.

20 for the wrath of man worketh not the rightwiseness of God.

21 For which thing cast ye away all uncleanness, and plenty of malice, and in mildness receive ye the word that is planted, that may save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Be like the Light of Love; be the Word.

“Promote The Justice Of God” (James 1: 22, NEB) by Carley Evans

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.”