“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)
Oh, how careful we must be when reacting to hurt. Quick to listen, and slow to speak. The most important thing we can do is choose to wait on our words and prayerfully seek God’s guidance.“This section of the letter,” the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible explains of James 1:19-20 (above), “focuses on the power of God’s Word and the need for believers to respond to it in obedience.” The human anger James is speaking of is unchecked emotion. Righteous anger, taking a stand against injustice, has a place in God’s Kingdom.
When we scroll through social media or click through different newsreels, we rarely witness quick listening and slow speaking. Passive aggressiveness is posted for all to wonder if it applies to them, and the entitlement to speak our truth holds little regard for who it’s actually hurting. If someone disagrees with an agenda, they are ghosted. Before telling a friend they have hurt us, filter what happened through the following steps.
“To really understand and love our neighbor, we must be willing to tread into common ground.” -Alexandra Kuykendall, “Loving My Actual Neighbor.”
Many of us are familiar with God’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves, but actually living it out in our everyday lives is difficult. “Loving My Actual Neighbor,” is a simple and practical approach to loving the people God places in our lives. In seven simple and quick-to-read chapters, Kuykendall gives her readers real life experience to connect with. Each chapter wraps up with three sections to help us retain the over-arching message: “A Call to Saturday Living,” “Questions for Reflection,” and “Scripture to Digest.”
“Saturday Living,” as the author cleverly coined, frames the natural ebb and flow of life’s down-time, and challenges us to look around and leverage that time to honor God’s command to “love our neighbor.” “Questions for Reflection” push readers to dig into this rich command God has given us and challenge our hearts to grow into it a little more. “Scripture to Digest” offers poignant verses to pray over our lives as we learn more about what it means to love our neighbors.
This book is enlightening and encouraging. It meets readers in the midst of busy schedules and provides practical ways to love each other better. Personally, it pushed me out of my limited understanding of how much time I think I have, and convicted me to pray for specific moments to love the people that border my life better. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about God’s love, and our place in His plan to become channels of it.
“We likely aren’t going to find many people (or any, for that matter) who agree with us on every detail of every issue, so maybe it’s time to let go of that expectation.” -Alexandra Kuykendall, “Loving My Actual Neighbor.”