Bible League: Living His Word (9/29/21)

Fools are quick to express their anger, but wise people are patient and control themselves.
— Proverbs 29:11 ERV


Fools are not necessarily stupid. Rather, they are people who hate wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:22). Instead of submitting to wisdom and knowledge about God and His creation, they follow the dictates of their own sinful selves. Fools, in other words, are rebellious people. They are in rebellion against any principle of wisdom and knowledge that impinges upon them from the outside. They want to do whatever they want, whenever they want.

That’s why fools “are quick to express their anger.” There is nothing holding them back. There is no norm, or law, or principle, or command that they acknowledge and respect to keep them from losing control of themselves. If anyone tries to calm them down, they get angrier still. They are like horses and mules which have no understanding and must be controlled with bit and reins (Psalm 32:9). You can’t appeal to the better instincts of a fool.

The wise, in contrast, are not necessarily smart. Rather, they are people who love wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 4:8). Instead of following the dictates of their own sinful selves, they submit to wisdom and knowledge about God and His creation. The wise, in other words, are obedient people. They obey the God-given principles of wisdom and knowledge that impinge upon them from the outside. They want to be in compliance with them and reap the benefits thereof.

That’s why the wise “are patient and control themselves.” The principles of wisdom and knowledge hold them back. The God-given norms, laws, principles, and commands that they acknowledge and respect keep them from losing control. If they do get angry, you can calm them down. Unlike horses and mules, you don’t have to control them with bit and reins. You can appeal to the better instincts of the wise.

The wise are patient and in control, but they are not passive. The wise are capable of righteous anger and indignation. Like Jesus, they can get angry when they are confronted with great sin, when they are confronted with gross disobedience to the principles of wisdom and knowledge (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 3:5). Even then, however, they are not, like the fool, quick to express their anger. Indeed, they are “slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

Today, let us ask God for help in becoming judicious and wise when it comes to the expression of anger.

© 2016 by Bible League International.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s