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JAMES 1:19-20 NKJV 
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 


Some advice is better than gold. James comes through with some golden wisdom for improving your people skills.   

Swift to hear. You could stop right there and gain some of the best people skills in life. Have you ever noticed how many people are not good listeners? You are talking, and they are not paying attention. Or they are thinking about what they are going to say. Or even worse, they interrupt you and talk over you. 

Many therapists will tell you that some of their best work is in listening to the people that come to them for help. People will pay for someone just to listen.   

Slow to speak. Oh man, I can definitely witness to how valuable this is as a relational skill. Many of the relationship problems I have encountered over the years have been a result of me practicing this in reverse. Being quick to speak is not a virtue. When you slow down your response, you give your heart a chance to direct your mouth. And a slower response is a sign of spiritual intelligence.   

You will be a lot safer not saying anything than responding quickly and having to repent or apologize for what was said.   

Slow to wrath. Wrath, or anger, heated anger, has been the root cause of so many relationship breakdowns. Anger does not produce anything close to God's righteousness.   

Many will ask about righteous anger like Jesus displayed in the temple. But I've noticed all these righteously angry people rarely display any other fruit of the spirit. Our righteous anger can not be an excuse for being harsh and mean-spirited.  


The more you practice this biblical directive, the greater your people skills will increase.   

A good listener can make a big difference. A calculated responder will not need to walk back his words near as often. And a person who can keep their anger in check is a person with strength of character.   

So, give these three a go for a whole year, and then get back to me on how your life and relationships have improved.   


Dear Lord, help me grow in quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to get angry.