Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.(KJV)
James is explaining the difference between being a good Christian vs not so good. A good Christian will listen, think before speaking and manage their tempers. We, today are no different than the people in James’ time. We need this lesson as much as they did!
Many of us don’t even listen as someone is talking to us. We are too busy wanting to respond. When it’s our time to talk (and sometimes we don’t even wait for our turn) we blurt out without thinking what our words may be saying or what effect they will have.
The Bible speaks of how the tongue has the means to kill. By speaking without thinking or by talking in anger, many times our unkind words will hurt someone to the core or will kill their spirit of life.
We may be angry at what has been said or possibly the way it has been said or perhaps we have taken offence at the body language, so we lash out in anger or perhaps even with wrath. (See definitions below).
There are many types of anger, but James uses the word wrath. James says that when we use wrath, we are not working the righteousness of God.
In this verse, James is explaining how to change and how a Christian should handle the situation.
We must learn to listen carefully to what is being said and then think about what we heard. Then we are to think about the words we are about to use. Following that we should remove anything that God would consider offensive. And then speak.
Speak only when we have something valuable to say that would be useful to the conversation.
We must never let the conversation get out of hand by speaking words of anger. We may at some point want to take them back but won’t be able to.
So, in conclusion, I believe that James is saying, listen carefully to what is being said. Remain focused on the conversation. Listen more than we speak and when we do speak, do not come with wrath because with it, we are not walking with God.
Definitions from www.merriam-webster.com › dictionary
WRATH 1 : strong vengeful anger or indignation 2 : retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement
RIGHTEOUS: acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin. 2. a : morally right or justifiable b : arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality
ANGER: enrage, incense, inflame (also enflame), infuriate, ire, madden, outrage, rankle, rile, roil, steam up, tick off, get one’s goat, rub the wrong way
Note to help remember: There is an old saying – God gave us two ears and only one tongue. This is a perfect example of how we are to listen twice as much as we talk.
This is an awesome lesson for everyone. Everything is rushed including conversations. People, myself included, just don’t really listen anymore. We hear only a bit of what is being said because our minds are off thinking of the chores we must do today, or thinking of something else. We are only half listening and then when we go to speak, we fill in the gaps of what we think we may have heard. This is where everything falls apart.
Father, I am guilty of doing this and I ask right now, that you would heal every hurt that I’ve ever caused and please forgive me for all the times I have done this.
I ask Father, in the name of the Son that you would help me to become a better person. Help me to listen intently on what is being spoken to me, let me hear with my heart instead of my mind. When I do speak, allow me to speak words of love, encouragement and kindness.
However Lord, I know there will be times when I will not be pleased with something someone else has said or done. During those times of anger, please be with me and allow only righteous anger to surface.
Once the situation has been rectified, may I forgive who came against me and may I let love replace it.
I thank you Father that from now on, I will listen, think before speaking and manage my temper. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Praise your mighty name. Hallelujah.
In Jesus’s name I pray.