“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world,” (James 1:27).
The Book of James deals with genuineness in the Christian life. In his summary of chapter one, James says that genuine religion is demonstrated by godly conduct: quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to wrath (verse 19). Genuineness is a tough standard to achieve in today’s world. But it is a discipline we need to develop.
First, genuine Christianity is quick to listen. We all know people who engage their mouth before they engage their brain. This only makes the devil happy and makes us look ridiculous. Whatever happened to the Christian grace of courtesy? Everyone is yelling at each other, but no one is listening. Remember the adage: “It’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
Second, genuine Christianity is slow to speak. That doesn’t mean we never talk or respond to criticism. It means that we give an answer seasoned with both grace and intellect, not emotion. Emotion demonstrates our insecurity in our position.
Third, genuine Christianity is slow to wrath. Notice what James says, “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God,” (verse 20). Remember that the next time you fly off the handle, no matter how much we declared that we’re expressing righteous indignation.
How genuine and secure is your Christianity?