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“A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.” Pro 29:11 NKJV

Anger is a difficult thing to manage because too often it is upon us before we realize it – and then we face the task of having to hold it back – to keep it from rising to the surface and exploding.  We are told in this passage that a fool always loses his temper.  That means that he has no control over his spirit.  Words like “always” and “never” are not used lightly in the Scriptures – so we see that someone who is always losing their temper – truly is a fool.

A very wise man once told me that the reason we become angry (in a sinful way) is because we cannot control something we desperately want to control.  Therefore, when we become angry in a particular situation, it is because we want to control that situation – and are not content to submit ourselves to God’s sovereignty and providence.  When we become angry with someone – it is because they are acting in a way that we cannot control.  We are not content to submit ourselves to God in serving them – even if they do not act in a way that is consistent with how “WE” would control them if we could.

What is interesting about this proverb is that we are told that the wise man “holds” his temper back.  The word used for the holding back of our temper is the Hebrew word “shabach,” which means to soothe or to still something.  Here it is used of anger that rises up within us.  The actual word for “temper” here is “ruach” which means spirit.  We learn to hold back our spirit when it wants to react in anger.   When angry it is easy to not soothe and control what kind of spirit comes forth from us – but we still need to soothe our spirits and make sure that what comes forth from us is not the flesh, not the wrong demonically inspired spirit.  We need to have the spirit of God – who is patient, kind, and full of self-control – soothe our anger and keep us from reacting in rage or anger.  A wise man knows this – and practices it when he senses anger begin to rise up within him.

 

This week pray that the Spirit of God would guard your heart and mind and help to control any anger that might rise up.  It would be foolish not to.

 

In His Hands,

 

John

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