Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak, Slow to Wrath

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:19-25, NKJV)

While we often use the phrase, “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” as a universal sense (listening above speaking), it is actually utilized here in a very specific context. James is talking about listening to the word of God. Unfortunately, many people would rather be slow to hear, swift to speak, swift to wrath when hearing what the Bible has to say. They believe they already know what God said and anything that does not mesh with what they think they already know only brings anger.

Let us truly desire to hear God’s message. Let us do the will of God that we hear, and use the mirror that God provides through his word to improve our lives, relationships, and service before God. Will you let God do the talking?

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