Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quick to Hear

James 1:19 directs us to “be quick to hear, slow to speak”.  I have often heard that this verse concerns our relationship with other people.  In personal conversation, we should be ready to hear what others have to say, and slow to voice our own opinion.  Reading Thomas Manton’s comments on this verse has given me a new understanding of it.  The context clearly shows that this command relates to our response to the gospel.  The previous verse (James 1:18) teaches that God’s word is the instrument by which we have been born again.  Verse 21, which follows, also concerns our attitude and response to the message of the gospel.  So, we are instructed here to be quick to listen to God’s word and receive it with humility.  We should highly value the privilege of hearing and reading the Bible, and be very slow to raise objections to what it teaches.  We must not be quick to arrogantly contradict it.  Doctrines that are hard for human reason to accept must be accepted nontheless.  The person who humbly responds in this way will experience the great saving power of God’s word.

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