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.
As we read the words written by James through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he tells us to be quick to listen. And we do so in humility, knowing that our relationship with God has been restored through our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord and not by any works or merit we possess. It’s our relationship with Jesus that gives us the ability to be quick to listen to others and to the Lord before speaking. We are to be quick to hear the word of God and the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we live our day to day lives. And by doing so, we help the Holy Spirit to implant the word of God deep into our hearts, where it can take root and begin to change us from the inside out. We should remember that all of scripture is God breathed. This means that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers using their own character and life experiences to faithfully record the word of God, and His special revelation to us regarding His plan of redemption through Christ Jesus our Lord. This means that God is the author of scripture and the term theologians use for this is “verbal plenary inspiration.”
The Bible is God’s revelation to us regarding His plan of redemption and His interactions with humanity. Therefore, for us to truly understand God’s revelation we must first have a relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord. The word of God is important to our spiritual growth and our walk with Christ. The Bible tells us in the letter to the Hebrews, “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword which can pierce into the very depths of our soul.” And once God’s word is implanted into our hearts it can begin to produce a change in us which is evident in our day to day behavior. And it’s this change by God which helps us to become quick to hear and slow to speak. And it’s the Holy Spirit who teaches us the word of God as He illuminates or deepens our understanding of the scriptures as we read and study God’s word. The Holy Spirit does so by helping us to understand the Bible in light of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. What James is saying in these passages is we now belong to Jesus, and we have turned our lives over to Him as Lord and Master. Therefore, we are to let the Holy Spirit guide us and not our emotions, especially anger, pride or envy.