Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
This passage of scripture highlights the importance of maintaining a calm spirit even in the face of turbulent or aggravating situations. The person who by the grace of God has learned to master the art of self control, has gained a victory of inestimable value that will reverberate in the hearts and minds of all whom they come in contact with. Anger is often manifested in shouting and screaming, in talking angrily when someone else is speaking, in frowns and facial expressions that exude one's irritation, and last but not least, in curse words and violent acts towards one's fellow men.
Cursing has become the norm for students, public servants, and even in many families this form of expression of anger is countenanced and even encouraged, as evidenced by the recent viral video that shows a parent teaching a toddler to swear. It is practiced by many in the higher echelons of society and even penned in many popular songs of the day.
However, the norms of secular society should not be the standards that Christians live by, for Christianity, when applied in practical ways, ennobles and elevates a person above the low and the vile. That's why the Bible sets the gold standard for all would be followers of Christ. Let's read:
Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
Proverbs 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
One of the common manifestations of anger in our world today is that of "Road Rage". Just recently we heard on the news of Michael Dunn who shot and killed a teenager because of the loud rap music that was being played in their vehicle. Mr. Dunn obviously did not stop to think things through, nor did he pause to evaluate the ramifications of his actions, but rather acted from impulse in the heat of the moment, a course of action we should never pursue when faced with an aggravating situation.
Jesus Christ on the other hand manifested no anger or resentment against His accusers or persecutors, but kept a serene aura about Him in the face of angry outbursts, loud clamor, vile jests, and even violence against His own person. He is indeed the gold standard by which we all should live, and if we do by His grace, this attitude, strengthened through the power of the Holy Spirit, will keep us from often blowing a fuse. Let's read:
Matthew 27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
But throughout all of this cruel and unjust treatment, the face of Christ remained calm and serene, and He never once uttered a word of anger or resentment. That's why the following instruction comes down to us living in the twenty first century, amid the many "Michael Dunns" of our day. Let's read:
1st Peter 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
It is our prayer and hope that the grace of God will pervade our heats and minds always so that in all of our interactions with each other, the peace of God would shine radiantly through. We therefore end with a simple promise we would do well to ponder often. Let's read:
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
May this be our experience today and forever. God bless!