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Answer to Question 4

James cautions us to be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath". Why are these good qualities in a Christian?

James says in verse 20, "Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." Even our own folk sayings reflect the wisdom of James. It is often said that "A person learns very little when his mouth is moving." Indeed, this is true. We must be careful to hear all the facts of a matter before we speak on it. Oliver Cromwell, once the Protector of England, was noted for his rigid self-control in speaking in Parliament. He always waited until everyone else had had their say and then he made his pronouncement. He was thought a very wise man. This also applies in our daily life when making decisions regarding our moral actions. Listen to all the facts, do not be hasty, do not speak out of turn. Most of all, be slow to anger, for anger clouds the mind, and as James points out, "does not produce the righteousness which God desires."

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