Swift or Slow
“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” (James 1:19-20, NKJV).
This passage is properly interpreted in relation, of course, to that which James said previously, as well as to what follows. It has been customary to interpret the phrase “swift to hear” in relation to “God’s word.” One can hardly dispute the application of this, or perhaps even the interpretation.
On the other hand, the phrase “swift to hear” might be better suited to a person being swift to hear what another says, just as it is appropriate for one to be slow (and deliberate) to speak, and slow to anger. The Holy Spirit has expressed Himself: “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28). RT