Ecclesiastes 7:9 – “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”
Have you ever noticed that the Bible has a LOT to say about anger and wrath? Someone close to me used to have challenges with anger, so I’ve read and meditated on a lot of those scriptures. Ironically, although I was reading them for someone else’s benefit; the words found their way into my Spirit and now come to me in those moments when I feel a spark of anger within me…
“Human anger does not produce righteousness.” (James 1:30)
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. (Proverbs 16:32)
Remembering these words of wisdom, particularly the part about being slow to anger, have often kept me from allowing the spark of my anger to fan into a flame. It’s not that I have issues with anger; I actually learned long ago to control my temper, because I discovered at an early age how quickly it can consume you when even an ember of anger is allowed to smolder and grow. The words simply remind me that, just as a real fire feeds on every molecule of oxygen and matter in its path, so too does anger consume our love, our joy, our peace, and our patience until all we can see is our wrath. When I look at it this way, I can really understand why God spent so much time in the Word warning us against giving into anger.
BE LIKE A DUCK
Despite this wisdom, we all know how easy it is for life to rub us the wrong way and ignite those embers of anger within us. It happens to everyone at one point or another (I still struggle daily with road rage 😳). The key, I think, is making the choice to let our love, joy, peace, and patience extinguish the spark instead of letting that fruit be fodder for the growing flame.
I know, I know…Sometimes it’s easier said than done; but as I used to tell my 3rd graders, I think the key is training yourself to be like a duck (Yes, I said it…a duck lol). I explained to them that when you act like a duck, you let all of the frustrating and anger-inducing ways of this world just roll off of your back like water rolls off of a duck’s feathers. 🙂
Refuse to let things faze you. Don’t sweat the small stuff (and all of those other wonderful words of wisdom). The point is that we can actually make this choice! The power is within us to choose peace and patience instead of giving into anger that can lead to strife (Proverbs 30:33), foolish actions (Ecclesiastes 7:9), and sin (James 1:20, Psalm 37:8). And by making this choice, we put ourselves in a position to keep calm, bring peace to those around us, and turn potentially volatile situations into fruitful and productive interactions.
Be a duck!
Proverbs 29:11 – “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!