Proverbs 15:18 (ESV)
18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
Proverbs 15:18 (NIV)
18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
We live in an angry world. From political anger to parents who are angry at their kids games, to anger in churches to road rage and anger in the home, we live in an angry world. We wonder when one country in anger will attack another country. We see terrorist actions where one religious’ sect in anger attacks another religious’ sect. Anger in parking lots leads to verbal and physical assaults. An internet post can quickly lead to angry responses. We just do not have to go very far to face someone’s anger. We live in an angry world.
I would like to suggest that this type of anger has no place in the heart of the Christian. There are very few times when righteous anger is called for and most of us do not have the self-control to keep our emotions in check even when we are righteously angry. Solomon has much to say about anger and its problems. In today’s reference we see that someone who is hot-tempered stirs up strife and conflict. To stir something up is to mix it up to a new level. Anger usually increases the strife and the level of conflict of any given situation. When anger enters a situation people lose control, things are said that should not be said, emotions rise, and relationships are hurt.
On the other hand, one who is slow to anger and patient of spirit, has the ability to quiet down a contentious situation, to settle down a quarrelsome room. In moments of anger when my tongue has something quick and cutting to say, I hear a voice within telling me not to say it. Do you hear that voice? It is what we do next that determines us a people of anger or a people of patience who are slow to anger.
I read this morning from 1 Kings 3 where God asked Solomon what he would want from God and Solomon asked God for understanding and for wisdom to rule His people. In James 1:4-6 James tells us that whenever we ask for wisdom, with faith believing God will grant our request, that God will give us the wisdom that we need for that situation. My friends, in the face of an angry situation, before we speak, let us ask God for wisdom so that we cool the anger before it ignites instead of throwing gas and a lit match into the room. Let us beGod’s people of patience who bring peace to difficult situations.
Sunday was a good day at JIBC. We rejoiced together and gathered around God’s powerful word together. In 1 John 5:16-17 we studied the call to pray for those in sin and sought to understand the sin unto death. We concluded the service taking time in small groups to pray for those we know and love who are still living in sin that they may hear the call of God to repent of their sin and come to Him. You can hear the message by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.
Yesterday, we took Stefani and Jared to Taman Safari. On the way there one of our tires picked up a nail slowing us down for over two hours. Since traffic picked up while getting our tire fixed we got to the park in the midst of its peak time. Later in the day, much later than we would have chosen, we were in a line of hundreds of people and met a couple who went to Iowa State University in the 1990’s. We asked them if they knew George and Dottie Hatfield, whom our church in Illinois supported as missionaries to foreign students on campus. This Indonesian husband and wife met at Iowa State and were discipled as young Christians by George and Dottie! I also met a young family from Saudi Arabia. The wife was dressed in a burka, head to toe, and they had four handsome young sons. We took pictures and exchanged numbers. Bobbi then met a Philippine family and exchanged info with them. They were Catholic and very friendly with Bobbi.
So while the park was amazing, if you ever come to Indonesia we will take you there, God had several Divine appointments for us. We are so thankful to be in this great country.
Have a great day in the Lord,