Proverbs 29:1-14 | Anger Management

by | Jun 13, 2021

READ Proverbs 29:1-14

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise person holds it in check. (Proverbs 29:11)

In the 2003 comedy, Anger Management, Jack Nicholson plays as an unorthodox anger management therapist. In one scene, he tells one of his patients that “Temper’s the one thing you can’t get rid of by losing it.” In today’s reading, Proverbs 29:11 follows other proverbs by contrasting the wise person to a fool. In this instance, a fool allows their anger to take over while a wise person has much more self-control. There are many other verses throughout Scripture that warn about the danger of allowing our anger to get the best of us:

  • Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. (James 1:19-20)
  • Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm. (Psalm 37:8)
  • A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness. (Proverbs 14:29)

Why is it so important to keep our anger in control? In his letter to the church in Ephesus, the apostle Paul warns believers not to spend the whole day angry because it gives the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27). Anger does not allow us to be sober-minded and alert against the roaring lion, the devil (I Peter 5:8).

So what are we supposed to do when people wrong us? Instead of staying angry with the person for an indefinite period of time, we should aim to reconcile with them before doing anything else (Matthew 5:23-24). We are to be kind and compassionate with each other, forgiving one another (Ephesians 4:32). On our own, this is a very difficult task. At times it may seem easier just to remain angry and bitter at people who have wronged us and cut them out of our lives.

Thankfully as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit who is in constant work to help us to become more and more like Jesus each day. We need the constant reminder of the Gospel that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It is only through Jesus that we were freed from the bondage of sin and the spiritual death. Whenever we are tempted to remain angry and not reconcile with those who have wronged us, let us remember what Jesus did for us on the cross while we were still God’s enemies. Let us imitate Jesus.

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