James, in writing this letter to believers, gives us a few qualities that are needed when going through trials. Notice the first quality, “swift to hear.” The righteous man considers what he is hearing. He is listening to what is being said. Then the second quality is “slow to speak.” The righteous man is not quick to give out what his thoughts are. He carefully thinks about what he is going to say. In Matthew 12:36, Jesus tells us that we will be held accountable for the words that we speak. Then, the third quality is “slow to wrath.” They aren’t easily given to their anger.
Notice the progression. If you aren’t quick to listen, then you’re quick to speak, and if you’re speaking, you’re most likely not listening; which will then lead to wrath. James’ point here is the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Your anger does not produce in you God’s righteousness. We should strive always to do what is right in God’s eyes.