Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

The Speed of the Spirit

James 1:19-2:17 This passage in James talks about the speed we need to set to cruise in the Spirit. We have a cruise setting on our car. When we set it at the right speed, we are able to take our foot off the gas peddle and the car will continue at the right speed. James tells us exactly what speed we should set our hearing, speaking and anger to allow the Spirit to go forward at a great cruise level as we travel the road of life. He says, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).

James says we should set the level of our hearing on high speed and the level of our speaking and anger on slow speed. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should listen twice as much as we speak. Proverbs tells us that he who keeps his lips keeps his soul from trouble. Most of the trouble we encounter in this life is caused by our not being able to bridle our tongues. When we are willing to listen to instruction and learn from others, we are wise. When we are quick to listen, we also can hear the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit prompting us, inspiring us and instructing us.

We also need to set the speed of our anger on slow. An angry man stirs up strife, and strife never yields good fruit. When we get into strife, our tongues become uncontrollable, and we run the risk of damaging our own soul and the souls of others. Some people really have a problem with anger, and they are called "rageaholics." When people allow anger to rise up within them and flow out of them, sometimes they experience the same sensation a drunk feels. They are out of control and cannot even remember what they said during their rage. James tells us to be slow to wrath.

Today before you leave to travel through life's journey, check your speed. Be careful to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. When you set these controls at the proper speed, you are then ready to cruise with the Holy Spirit all day.

Lord, help me to set the controls of my life at the right speed. I want the Holy Spirit to be in control of my life, but if I am too quick to speak, I will run ahead of His still quiet voice prompting me to be still and quiet. Lord, I need to put my mind in gear before I start the motor of my mouth. Help me to listen more than I speak, and help me to seek peace and pursue it. I know if I allow myself to lose it with my anger, I have also lost the control of my life by the Holy Spirit. Forgive me, Lord.

READ: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1

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