The transformed life becomes evident as the believer responds to the instructions revealed in God’s word (James 1:19–-27). The word is the source of our new life: “He brought us forth by the word of truth” (1:18a), and “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17).
A true disciple of Jesus has a deep desire to know and obey God as He is revealed in God’s word: “If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (Jn 8:31).
James heard Jesus teach many times. “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 3:11). What a privilege! True believers “rejoice in [God’s] testimonies [i.e., precepts or commands], as much as in all riches” (Psa 119:14). Think about these three short commands in James 1:19 as the “Word implanted” (James 1:21).
First, we should “be quick to listen.” Be a good listener who runs toward someone to get it right. Focus on learning, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and being open to personal application. Remember Proverbs 6:33: “If you love to listen you will gain knowledge, and if you incline your ear you will become wise.”
Second, we should be “slow to speak.” Take your time and think about what you say. You cannot learn while talking. Remember Proverbs 5:11, “Be quick to hear, and be deliberate in answering,” and Proverbs 29:20, “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Be more focused on getting it right than on how to answer or argue a point.
Third, be “slow to anger.” The word for anger, or wrath, means a “deep resentment boiling within.” In this context, it refers to being angry at a truth in God’s word: “Be not quick to anger, for anger lies in the bosom of fools” (Eccl 7:9). Allow God’s word to expose sinful selfishness without getting angry: “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Gal 4:16). May God’s word continually humble us as we willingly submit to it.
“Lord, why do I want to talk so much and impress others with my ideas and opinions? At the same time, I don’t listen to others because I want to tell them what I think. Am I so full of myself that I miss what You are trying to teach me? Help me listen to Your word.”