READING: Proverbs 13-16
“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but one slow to anger calms strife.”
The proverbs are wise sayings that speak truth to us. While they are not promises – and thus we may find exceptions to a particular proverb – they do reflect realities of life. Consider, for example, what today’s reading says to us about anger:
- “A quick-tempered person acts foolishly.” (Prov. 14:17)
- “A patient person shows great understanding,but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.” (Prov. 14:29)
- “A gentle answer turns away anger,but a harsh word stirs up wrath.” (Prov. 15:1)
- “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,but one slow to anger calms strife.” (Prov. 15:18)
Anger is like a fire. It can seethe below the surface and then make itself known with the flash of a flame, or it can erupt so quickly that it’s frightening. Either way, it burns. It’s possible to extinguish it, but not typically without at least some destruction left behind. Even a small pile of ashes is a reminder that a fire came through; blackened materials are scars left behind even after the fire is long extinguished. In a similar way, even the briefest display of temper can wound for life. The fire that that goes out in the heart of the angry person typically still leaves scars in the recipients of the anger.
I can be an angry person. It’s in my blood and my heritage—but God continues the process of changing me. He’s making me patient when I don’t want to be, loving when it’s not easy for me, and slow to anger when I don’t lean that way. I want my life to be marked by gentle answers and a calming heart.
- If you know you’re angry, confess that truth to God.
- Ask God to make you patient and gentle today.
PRAYER: “Father, I want to be a calming influence for Your glory—not an angry person. Help me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Proverbs 17-20