Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on August 4, 2013.
Opening: Discuss with another or meditate on this quote by Goethe, "If you treat an individual as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."
Reading: James 1: 17-27 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Every one of us probably has gotten advice from someone at one time or another. Most times, advice is free. It is given to us by friends and family, who may or may not have expertise in the particular area we are seeking advice in. I know I have given people advice based on my opinions or my experience in a particular area.
I think this verse is pretty good advice that we should heed. We should be swift to hear. We should be willing to listen to others and hear what they have to say. We may just glean something from their accounts. We should be slow to speak. We don't always have to outdo what someone says or try to tell a story greater than theirs. We should think before we speak. And, we should be slow to wrath. We should not get angry instantly. We should take things in stride and not let our emotions get the best of us.
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. It's God's advice for our lives.
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