11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
In studying Proverbs 2, we learn that discretion is the ability to look past the current decision to see the consequences that will result. The opposite of discretion is carelessness, foolishness, and immaturity. Whenever anger is the first emotion and angry words are the first reaction, big problems follow. Words are used that cause pain and rejecting actions are shown that are not easily forgotten. None of us want to be characterized by anger but all of us have either responded in anger or been the recipients of someone else’s anger. Knowing the painful end of anger should cause us to have enough discretion to be slow to anger.
A slow boil is one that takes time to get hot. It cooks the food slowly and effectively. Being slow to anger can be compared to a slow boil. Yes, there is good reason to be upset, yes, something sinful is being exposed, but showing composure while slowly rising in emotional temperature, will enable the mind to think more clearly and will make sure that the words used are constructive not destructive. Yes, there is a place for anger, but explosive anger never accomplishes anything righteous. “The wrath of man does not work out the righteousness of God.”
With discretion, the understanding of the consequences of our actions, there will be times when we will consider just letting something go. There are some offences that are better off let go. When we are sinned against, we need to seek resolve before the sun sets, before the day ends, but there are times when I perceive someone offended me, but it is only my perception. At those times I am much better off letting it go than making a point. In the end, I am thankful that God has forgiven me and that I can overlook an offence to the glory of God. Loving one another is the key. God has shown forth His love by loving us in all our sin (Romans 5:8); we are called to love one another with this same love. Overlook an offence to the glory of God and rejoice as His love flows through you.
In reading through the book of Genesis again, I was struck by the contrast between Noah and Lot. Both were warned by God of impending judgment and both lived in societies completely given over to sin. In Noah’s day we read that violence covered the land and that every thought of mankind was only evil continually. In Lot’s city of Sodom, all the men of the city wanted to sexually assault the two male visitors in Lot’s home. When the angels of God struck these men with blindness, they continued their perverse rage by blindly seeking Lot’s door. The major and painful difference is this: Noah’s sons and daughters-in-law got into the ark with him, Lot’s children and wife were so caught up in the identify and world-view of Sodom that some did not go with him, his wife looked longingly back, and his daughters committed incest to bear children. I was reminded of the importance of raising our children to know the Lord, to see the failure of sin, and ever keep before them the truth of God and His wonderful salvation. We cannot change the world, but we can raise our children with the knowledge of God and trust Him for their salvation.
Have a great day in the Lord,