Thursday, November 3, 2011

Slow to anger - November 3rd, 2011

32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Proverbs 16:32

History and Context:
Yesterday we discussed the History and Context of Proverbs.

The Text:
This proverb would have been a very revolutionary idea in Solomon's day. Solomon lived around the time in which each empire was trying to be the mightiest. It wasn't long after Solomon that we see the rise of empires like Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. The idea was that the whole goal of life was to be the mightiest warrior, to take cities and countries as your own. Then Solomon, in one simple sentence, combatted the entire mindset of the day. What takes more might or skill than taking over a city is simply controlling your own anger, ruling your own spirit.

The Challenge:
Emotions were given to us by God but were meant for us to be in control of, not to control us. The psalmist said (Psalm 4:4) and Paul quoted (Ephesians 4:26) "Be angry and do not sin". In other words the anger is not wrong, but we should be in control of it. We should direct it towards constructive activities. The same is true for all emotions; sadness, happiness, excitement, even fear and nervousness. Our emotions are there to help us, to support us in our pursuit after God, but they can only do that if we are in control. So the challenge today is to learn to rule your own spirit, and especially, be slow to anger.

The Prayer:
Lord, help me to be in control of my emotions. Help me to rule my own spirit. Let me always be slow to anger. Thank you Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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