19 Listen, open your ears, harness your desire to speak, and don’t get worked up into a rage so easily, my brothers and sisters. 20 Human anger is a futile exercise that will never produce God’s kind of justice in this world. 21 So walk out on your corrupt liaison with smut and depraved living, and humbly welcome the word of truth that will blossom like the seed of salvation planted in your souls.
22 Put the word into action. If you think hearing is what matters most, you are going to find you have been deceived.
God the Father is the giver of all things and is looking for every opportunity to bless us. But many people have difficulty trusting and receiving good things, even when those things come from God. The problem is that we not only have trouble trusting God’s work in our lives, but we also don’t always respond to God’s voice. People often hear the Scriptures but don’t really listen. People store truths in their brains but never put them to use. For James, the only good religion is religion lived out every day.
23-24 If some fail to do what God requires, it’s as if they forget the word as soon as they hear it. One minute they look in the mirror, and the next they forget who they are and what they look like. 25 However, it is possible to open your eyes and take in the beautiful, perfect truth found in God’s law of liberty and live by it. If you pursue that path and actually do what God has commanded, then you will avoid the many distractions that lead to an amnesia of all true things and you will be blessed.
26 If you put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you have become a role model in all things religious, but you can’t control your mouth, then think again. Your mouth exposes your heart, and your religion is useless. 27 Real, true religion from God the Father’s perspective is about caring for the orphans and widows who suffer needlessly and resisting the evil influence of the world.