PROVERBS DAY #14: CONTROL YOUR ANGER AND RELAX
“Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes. A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away.” (Prov. 14:29-30).
The Book of Proverbs gives us a smorgasbord of wisdom that applies to every area of our life: It gives us wisdom in our relationships, family life, dealing with finances and walking in righteousness. But it also gives us a window into our heart, and helps us to consider our emotions as well. In the above Proverb, Solomon addresses two different emotions: anger and jealousy.
Anger is not necessarily a bad thing. It is an emotion, and when we are treated unfairly, we are going to get angry. However, what we do with that emotion is what makes it good or evil. If we can control our anger, it proves that we have great understanding. But those with a hasty temper will make mistakes.
Solomon also tells us that we can choose one of two different attitudes to approach life – to be relaxed, or be jealous. A relaxed attitude will lengthen our life. So lighten up a little bit! Enjoy life. Be content with what you have, and don’t worry about what you don’t have. If you do this, you’ll enjoy the journey so much more. The alternative attitude is to be jealous of what other people have, and the end result is that it rots your life away.
So what is the antidote to a person who struggles with anger and jealousy? It’s easy to say, “Stop being so angry! Quit being jealous!” But it’s another thing entirely to try to control those emotions in your own life. What is the answer then? I believe it’s found in a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to a church in Galatia. He starts out by identifying the problem: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21).
He then gives the solution: “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23). How do we get more of this fruit of the Spirit in our lives? Spend time with Jesus in prayer! Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).
TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER FOURTEEN.
Pastor Chris Jordan