English Service (Pt 3: Triggers)

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Who is James? What can we learn from him? What can we learn from the most important family that has ever existed? In this series, we will dive deep into the book of James and see what God has for us and how we can apply to our lives now.

Today’s Key Scriptures:

James 1:19-27 ESV

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 

20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 

23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 

24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 

25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 

27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Book Theme: 

James 1:2-3 ESV

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.


James 1:2 | “when you meet trials of various kinds”

James 1:12 | “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial...”

  • Difficulties: Big vs little

  • When there’s trials around us, it triggers emotions in us.


James 1:19-20 Passion

19 My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry, 

20 for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose.

  • Anger is a natural emotion, an alert system given by God to let us know when something is wrong and naturally moves us to take action. 

A) Any Unrighteous Anger?

  1. Entitlement
  2. Selfishness
  3. Mistakes
  4. Bitterness & Unforgiveness

Ephesians 4:26-27 Passion

But don’t let the passion of your emotions lead you to sin! Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not for even a day. Don’t give the slanderous accuser, the Devil, an opportunity to manipulate you!

Unrighteous Anger VS God’s Righteous Anger:

  • Are you angry about what makes God angry?
  • Are you angry about something God is not angry about?
  • Are you not angry about something God is angry about?

Exodus 34:6 ESV

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 

Romans 2:4 NIV

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

  • Jesus Emotions is mentioned around 60X in the gospels; #1 compassion

Mark 3:5 NLT

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!

John 11:33 NKJV

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.

  • If you are slow to anger then you are reflecting the heart of God.
  • If man’s religion, sin, death frustrate you… you are reflecting the heart of God.

B) Any Wrong Speech?

Matthew 15:18 NLT 

But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.

  • Slander. Lying. False Witness. Gossip. “Not my news to tell”

  1. Will you make a point or make a difference?
  2. Will you be a Critic or a Coach?
  3. Will you beat them down or build them up?
  4. Will you win the argument or win the person?
  5. Will you keep private things private or make them public?

  • Have the talk with God before you have the talk with them.

C) Are You Listening to God & Others?

  • We live in a world where everyone wants to be understood more than they want to understand.

Listening & Asking Good Questions

  1. Perspective
  2. Empathy
  3. Relationship

Reasons We Don’t Listen Well

  1. Chatterbox– nervously fills the air time 
  2. Critic– only listening for what is wrong
  3. Responder– not listening, thinking about their response 
  4. Fixer– rush to give advice/teach
  5. Avoider– does not like bad news or conflict
  6. Goner– distracted mentally or technologically


James 1:21-25 Passion

21 So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the Word of Life has power to continually deliver us.

22 Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!

23 If you listen to the Word and don’t live out the message you hear, you become like the person who looks in the mirror of the Word to discover the reflection of his face in the beginning. 

24 You perceive how God sees you in the mirror of the Word, but then you go out and forget your divine origin. 

25 But those who set their gaze deeply into the perfecting law of liberty are fascinated by and respond to the truth they hear and are strengthened by it—they experience God’s blessing in all that they do!

  1. Learning to listen to others starts w/listening to God
  2. It’s a good thing to study the Bible, if you let it study you.
  3. Bible is a mirror for you before binoculars for others
  4. Bible is Spiritual food
  5. Some people need more Bible. Most people need more obedience.

Luke 11:28 Passion

“Yes,” said Jesus. “But God will bless all who listen to the word of God and carefully obey everything they hear.”


James 1:26-27 Passion

26 If someone believes they have a relationship with God but fails to guard his words then his heart is drifting away and his religion is shallow and empty.

27 True spirituality that is pure in the eyes of our Father God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values.

If your religion doesn’t do these two things then it is worthless…

  1. OTHERS: Helpful like Jesus
  2. YOU: Holy like Jesus

EXPIATION = Forgiven & Clean– wash self, wash clothes, wear white.


The Latest Secular Brain Science on Changing a Bad Habit:

Old Habit Loop | New Habit Loop

  1. Trigger: Anger and fear hit the panic button
  2. Response: Act now!
  3. Result: Short and long-term consequences

James 1 on Changing a Bad Habit:


Old Habit Loop Response to a Trial

  1. Trigger: Anger and fear hit the panic button to act now!
  2. Response: double-minded, unstable, blame God, only hear the Word, anger, unbridled tongue, self-deceived
  3. Result: death, pass away, worthless religion


New Habit Loop Response to a Trial

  1. Trigger: Anger and fear hit the panic button to act now!
  2. Response: count it joy, ask God for wisdom, quick to listen, slow to speak, doer of the Word
  3. Result: steadfastness, perfect and complete lacking in nothing, gifts from the Father, blessed, the eternal crown of life

  • The key to forming a new habit in a new part of the brain is to have the Holy Spirit re-hardwire your brain because you are “beloved” and “pure and undefiled before God”.