This is what God gave me today in his word:
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:19-21)
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and… Well seeing as it’s not (perhaps somewhat obviously), “the anger of man” that produces God’s righteousness, what does? Well, as my dad has told me, when you see the word, “therefore” you need to find out what it’s, “there for”.
What does produce the righteousness of God? … From now on we’ll refer to, “the righteousness of God” as ‘TRG’ because the latter ‘righteousness of God’ is a bit of a mouthful.
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
In this case, the “therefore” is there for the purpose of, after telling us what doesn’t work, to tell us what does.
Does the anger of man produce righteousness? No, we already know it doesn’t, so then whatever produces anger (filthiness and rampant wickedness) we need to get rid of. – Alright, we’ve found the thing that doesn’t produce righteousness and gotten rid of it. Now James tells us the thing that does produce righteousness: receiving with meekness the implanted word. And what is the, “implanted word”? (I promise I’ll stop asking so many questions soon)? We know from James it’s able to save our souls; There’s exactly one thing that can save our souls and that’s the Gospel of Jesus.
Now we’ve established several things. First, that, “the anger of man,” doesn’t produce TRG. Second, that we need to get rid of that which produces anger. The reasoning behind this is simply that if it doesn’t produce something good, it must produce something bad. In the case of anger, this can be a lot of different things (physically or verbally abusing someone is probably the most common of which). Third, that the, “implanted word” is the Gospel of Jesus. – The reasoning behind that is both that the Gospel is the only thing that actually has the power to save us and that, to my knowledge the only word implanted inside of us is the afore-mentioned. – But now before I continue babbling, so what? What does it matter if we know that, “the implanted word is the Gospel? Big whoop. Why do we even need TRG?!
I’ll put it simply: Jame’s is saying two different things here. First, he’s saying the anger of man doesn’t produce TRG. Second, he’s telling us that without TRG (the righteousness of God), we only have our anger left. Big underline there. – The husband yells at the wife, the wife yells at the husband and the kids. The kids go to school, get yelled at, yell back. The husband comes home to chaos, yells some more, then goes to bed (on the couch). Repeat, repeat again and continue repeating for the rest of your life. That’s a family without TRG, that has for the most part only their own anger. – Why is it important to have God’s righteousness? Because without it we’re left with ourselves. You want to know part of the reason why solitary confinement is such a torture? Because you’re left with yourself, just yourself, and no one else (“me, mine, and I” don’t count as other people there with you).
In conclusion. The anger of man is bad and ultimately leads to no good, therefore it must be done away with (by doing away with the roots of it). We need God and his righteousness, and in general make an effort to be quick to hear, slow to speak.
You are Loved!