Last week I posted on why we should be slow to anger. We should be slow to anger because God himself is slow to anger, because we are imperfect judges and sinners, and anger won’t produce righteousness. But there are more reasons we should be slow to anger. For example, anger promotes all kinds of wickedness.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29)
Folly in Proverbs is not just silliness or foolishness as we usually think of it. In Proverbs folly equals wickedness. Evil. So read PR 14:29 like this:
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts wickedness. He who has a hasty temper promotes evil.
Do you want to produce a lot of evil, wickedness and sin in your life? Do you want to wreck your life? Then have a quick temper. Have a hasty temper. Be quick to get angry. The Bible guarantees it.
Even the American Psychological Association, which does not claim to be Christian, says this:
“Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong….excessive anger can cause problems. Increased blood pressure and other physical changes associated with anger make it difficult to think straight and harm your physical and mental health.”
Catch that? “Difficult to think straight. Harm your physical and mental health.” When you’re angry you don’t think straight. You’re unreasonable. You do stupid, horrible things. Anger leads to wife beating, child abuse, murder, divorce, saying damaging things to your children. Saying cruel, God-dishonoring things to your Dad and Mom. Anger leads to sin. Anger exalts wickedness. Anger promotes evil.
The first murder was a result of anger.
and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. (Genesis 4:4-8)
Anger leads to trouble, trouble, trouble:
A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again. (Proverbs 19:19)
If you are given to anger you will pay the penalty. It will affect your life. And it will keep happening again and again. Your penalty might be losing your wife – I know at least 2 men whose anger played a major part in ruining their marriages. Your anger may cut off from your children. You may lose your job. You may wind up in jail. But you will keep paying penalties all your life if you are given to anger.
I recently heard a podcast about a man who took his broken iPhone to an Apple store and was told he’d have to wait to hours to get it fixed. He waited 90 minutes, and when he asked again, the concierge said it would be another 2 hours, then said, “If you had an appointment this wouldn’t have happened. That’s what appointments are for. You make an appointment you get seen.” The guy storms out, goes home, and is steaming mad, then posts an angry threat on Facebook about walking into the Apple store on 5th Avenue with a gun and shooting “one of those smug, fruity little concierges.” An hour later, there’s a rap on his door and when he opens it, there’s a swat team there. He gets arrested, taken to the station, charged with making terroristic threats, and winds up going to court half a dozen times.
Anger always makes things worse:
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (Proverbs 15:18)
Do you want a lot of strife in your life? Be a hot-tempered man or woman. Do you want more peace in your relationships? Do you want contention to quiet down in your life? Then be slow to anger.