"You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen,
slow to speak, slow to anger" - James 1:19
Little is known about the James who wrote the letter bearing his name towards the end of the New Testament. It is strongly believed that he was the same James who served as the head of the church in Jerusalem, which was home base for the movement in the first century. It is also believed that his older brother was a certain wandering Galilean teacher and miracle-worker, named Jesus.
I wonder if this wisdom from James 1:19 could be traced back to growing up in the same house with Jesus. Did he see his older brother model these truths as they were coming up together? If so, what a splendid example of brotherly love and right-living.
All of this is just another small piece of a terribly larger puzzle that is American politics and international relations. It is also a case study in the very thing James is talking about when he writes his letter to early Christians. For James, both Obama and Netanyahu would be wrong. One side does not want to listen any more while the other is forcing its way to the stage to speak.
Julie and I have been to Israel; we spent 7 days there in early 2007 on a trip touring prominent Holy Land sights with a group from South Georgia. We felt the tension and believe that Israel needs to be protected. But, we also saw the ways that Israel is the perpetrator of human rights violations upon their neighbors. The entire Middle East is a complex situation. But, that could be said of a thousand topics in our world today, right?
Life is complex. Sometimes the best we can do is to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Grace and Peace, Scott