“Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

(James 1:19)

Growing up there was an expression people used when your conversation was about to explode into slander or anger, “Bite your tongue!”  If you bite your tongue, you will notice immediately that you won’t be able to speak.  Biting your tongue will keep you from saying something that you should not say.  I don’t recommend you bite your tongue, but certainly remember this phrase next time you are tempted to enter into an argument. 

The Word tells us to be swift to hear.  Let’s think about that for a minute.  Swift to hear.  As Children of the Most High God we have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit.  One of those gifts is discernment of spirits.  But, I’ll bet that many of you, including myself, rarely use this precious and valuable gift.  Whenever someone is confronting you with anger or malice, there are evil spirits involved.  We are to be swift to hear!  Stop.  With spiritual eyes look at the situation in front of you and use your discernment. 

All of us can be influenced by evil spirits, they are all around us.  So, don’t be surprised if your spouse, your children, a close friend, or even a church member gets riled up and comes after you, with or without a cause.  Because we are children of the Most High, there is a spirit world hell-bent on controlling/affecting us.  Do you think that when Satan left Yeshua after tempting Him that he remained quietly in the background?  No.  The enemy came after Him in the harsh words of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the accusations that His miracles were from Satan, and later, when the very people He came to deliver cried out, ‘Crucify Him!’  I am sure there were thousands of demons influencing the people who attacked Yeshua.  If they came after Him, surely they will come after us.

DON’T REACT.  If you react when you are attacked, you are climbing into a boxing ring with evil spirits.  Guess what?  You won’t win.  Satan’s evil angels are highly intelligent, they have been in existence for thousands of years and they observe everything.  When you retaliate you open yourself up to more demonic attacks.  Plus, you open up your own spirit by taking the challenge to battle and before you can say ‘Jack Robinson’ (an expression in the 1700s used to mean a very short time), you will be pouring out of your own mouth sinful words.  Bite your tongue!

Answering back in anger opens your spirit up to wicked, evil presences that begin to influence you in your body, soul and spirit. 1st Thessalonians 5:23 – Tells us we are sanctified by God in our body, soul and spirit and are to be blameless.  Also, the Word of God tells us:  “Be angry and sin not.” (Ephesians 4:26)

SLOW TO SPEAK.  You have just been attacked in anger, or perhaps mocked; cruel words, soul-crushing words have pierced your heart.  Silently you should pray asking God for discernment.  He may reveal to you what evil spirits are influencing the individual who has just attacked you.  Pray for that person!  God has given you a great gift filled with His love for them, now pray with what God has shown you (in the Spirit). 

Of course, we all cave to the flesh sometimes and sin with our words.  But, when the words are aimed at destroying your spirit, then there is probably a demon behind the attack.  These malicious spirits influence your attacker often because of some ‘stronghold’ that has not been addressed.  There can be spirits of jealousy, anger, frustration, fear, pain, intolerance, a judgmental spirit, an antichrist spirit, even a spirit of Jezebel (very nasty).  Use your spiritual discernment, realize that this is a ‘spiritual’ attack and there is a good possibility the individual attacking is not even aware of what they are doing.  Don’t attempt to placate your own wounded ego with a quick or rash reply, you will only be throwing fuel on the fire.  Be slow to speak, if you speak at all. 

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  (Proverbs 15:1)
“A hot tempered man stirs up strife, but he that is slow to anger quiets contention.”  (Prov. 15:18) 
“A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.” (Prov. 29:22)
“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.”  (Eccles. 7:9)
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”  (Colossians 3:8)

Be swift to hear – slow to speak.  Remember, when our Lord spoke He was speaking words direct from the Father.  When confronted (attacked) He answered with Kingdom words, living-giving speech. 


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