“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19 (NIV)  

In the verse we are considering this morning, we don’t ultimately have a prescription of how we must live, but rather a description of whom God has made us to be in Christ. This is in fact the good gift that faithfully comes down to us from the Father of lights. We must accept this by faith, and incidentally the trials James references at the onset of this epistle create that very tangible, down-to-earth faith for us.

We are all slow to speak when the law comes to us in the daily stuff of life and consequently silences our mouths. When I go through afflictions and troubles, I have a tendency to see myself in increments…and even the minute fraction of the wickedness God shows me is enough to shut my rambling self-justifying mouth and thereby bring death.

It is here and here alone that the gospel swoops in like an eagle with healing in its wings. For it is here, in my broken state, that I am more apt to be swift to hear…yes, I am under the “hearing of faith” (cf. Galatians 3:2). Faith in the One who trusted God for me and never did one thing of his own volition or to justify himself. The one who “opened not his mouth….” He’s our identity.