Daily Devotion

James 1:20

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Saturday, 19 August 2017



James 1:20

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.


Here we are given the reason for James’ earlier admonition that every Christian ought to be slow to wrath. “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

A great number of Christians are in need of this reminder, for many seem to be ignorant of this truth or have conveniently forgotten about it. Christians so often foolishly fly into a rage without having full understanding of a matter, or worse, after having misunderstood or misjudged a matter. One’s impatience and ungoverned temper often numb his mind from exercising proper reasoning and righteous judgment. A volatile temperament will also certainly hinder one from exercising Christian graces such as patience, mercy and forgiveness.

Every Christian ought to take seriously the caution that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God”. Scripture does teach us abundantly how the wrath of man works against the righteousness of God. Proverbs 27:4 warns us that “wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous”. When anger is unchecked, it produces merciless and hurtful conduct. The anger kept within the heart will soon become uncontrollable, suddenly ventilating itself by yelling at others, shouting insults and vulgarities, hurting and injuring others, throwing things around and destroying them, etc.

Proverbs 15:18 states, “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension and easily picks up a fight. In this proverb, he is set against the peacemaker, which demonstrates how quarrelsome an angry person could be. Anger and hatred will cause strife in the family or at the workplace or in the church (cf. Proverbs 10:12; 29:22).

Proverbs 29:22b points out that “a furious man aboundeth in transgression.” There is no stopping the offences by an angry person. Mischief will flow from an angry, passionate, furious disposition. Furthermore, “He that is soon angry”, warns Proverbs 14:17, “dealeth foolishly”. Verse 29 of Proverbs 14 affirms this fact by pointedly declaring that “he that is hasty of spirit (i.e. to anger) exalteth folly.” So let us restrain our wrath at once, and refrain from sin.