Main point summary
Because a person's anger can't change things for good, don't be quick to demonstrate anger and switch out evil in your life for the word, which does produce good.
g Know this, my beloved brothers:
What I'm about to say is something you should know:
let every person h be quick to hear,
everyone should be eager to listen,
i slow to speak,
hesitant to voice their opinion (because when you are speaking how could you be listening?),
j slow to anger;
and not intent on quickly demonstrating anger (anger which is so easily shown in words);
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
because the display of your anger will not make things right, at least in God's eyes.
Therefore k put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness
What should you do instead? Throw out any dregs of impurity and sin in your life
and receive with l meekness the implanted word,
and then take in with humility the word that has taken root in your heart,
m which is able to save your souls.
which is actually capable of making things right in your soul.
Head : this one truth will change how you interact with others, and that is the truth that man's anger cannot make others righteous. We do not have the power to change situations, to change people's hearts. Only God's word has that power (1 Corinthians 1:18; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23). Heart : this truth changes how we feel. Because we believe that anger is not effective in changing people, we become slow to anger and we grow in meekness. Our anger is a result of us trying to control the situation and turn things in our favor. We're not thinking about things in terms of God's righteousness; we think about our standards being broken, our will not being done. Is God's law being broken? Or is it really just my law being broken? But the one who is slow to anger is becoming like God, who Himself is slow to anger (Exodus 34:6). On the other hand, the one who gives voice to angry words without abandon has deceived themselves into thinking that they are religious (James 1:26). Hands : When you are angry, it is hard to listen and easy to speak. Not only is it hard to listen to others, but it is also difficult to listen to the word. So what are you listening to when you are angry? Most likely, it is just your own sinful thoughts, which serve to feed your anger. But the one who realizes the truth chooses to be slow to anger and as a result, they bridle their tongue to keep themselves from sinning (Proverbs 10:19). The right choice is to be eager to listen, both to others and to the word - and then to put that word into action (James 1:22, 25). This is evidence of growing meekness and humility, choosing to lay aside my supposed rights and receive the word. Not only does this affect how we speak, but it changes how we view sin in our lives. Because we believe that our anger is ineffective and that the word is powerful, we put away filth in our lives. Anger and all of its nasty cousins are part of what is put away (Colossians 3:8; Ephesians 4:31). In its place are meekness and humility, bearing with one another, forgiving one another. This is part of "doing the word" and not just hearing the word.