‘Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.’ – Ecclesiastes 7:9
The worst time to respond to a mail, letter, phone call, advice or suggestion is when we are angry. Sensible things and anger don’t go together. Anger makes us say and do things we later regret. Did you know that anger is synonymous with foolishness in the Bible? ‘A quick tempered man acts foolishly’ (Proverbs 14:17). Did you also know another word for an angry, hot tempered person in the Bible is a fool? ‘Anger rests in the bosom of a fool’ (Ecclesiastes 7:9). Angry people, people with hot tempers are the ones behind all the strife and quarrelling amongst friends, in families, in offices and in churches (Proverbs 29:22). Anger not only make us do foolish things, it can make us do some very dangerous things. It was anger that made Cain kill Abel, his own blood brother (Genesis 4:4-8).
I know that in these difficult, uncertain and trying times that we live in, there’s more than enough stress, discomfort and everyday pressure to get us worked up and angry. Not to talk of things our spouse, children, relatives, boss, colleagues and business partners do to get on our nerves. Let me not forget those that don’t even know they have said or done anything to offend us, yet we are vexing seriously for them.
When we are about to show the full vent of our anger, let’s always remember how God responds when we do things that grieve His Spirit; when we do things that get Him angry, which for many of us is almost every day. ‘But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. ’ (Psalm 86:15). God endures and tolerates a whole lot of nonsense from us. Things people do to us that makes us keep malice with them, insult them, place them on our blacklist, block their number on our smartphone or in some cases even exchange blows with them, we do same or even worse to God and His first, second or even tenth response to what we have done isn’t to show us His angry side. In fact, if God used to get angry with us the way we easily get angry with people, we would all be dead meat by now; we would have been consumed by God’s burning anger (Exodus 15:7, Exodus 32:10-11, Numbers 11:1-2).
Whatever is the cause of our anger, whoever is making us angry, I pray that the gentleness which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit will daily rub on us and the wind of the Holy Spirit will blow out all the anger steam in us before we say and do something dangerous or foolish!
Lord, let the fruit of self-control be a part of my daily living. Give me a calm, gentle spirit. Remove harsh words from my conversations. Help me to pursue peace and live at peace with all men in Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen!
PHOTO CREDIT: Tahiro Achoub on Unsplash