Mad? Be Careful

Chic Broersma

Read: Proverbs 16:21-33

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty. (v. 32)

My boss, his friend, and I were heading out a channel into Lake Michigan in his friend’s boat. When we passed the “Slow No Wake” sign, the friend pushed the throttle wide open. We started crashing up and down the choppy waves. At first I thought it was humorous. Then my boss, a lifetime member of the church, became frightened to death and started yelling and cursing at his friend. Such language and behavior was totally out of character for my boss but real enough for anyone to see and hear.

Frequently, we hide our anger except from a few people who are too close to run for cover. An outburst may happen anywhere, often with little advance warning. Remember how Moses struck the rock twice with his staff to bring forth water when God had clearly told him to speak to the rock? Moses failed to trust in God enough to honor him as holy in the sight of the Israelites. This cost him the privilege of bringing God’s people into the Promised Land (Num. 20:12 NIV).

James writes, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20 NIV). If anyone ever had cause to become angry, it was Jesus. Endlessly provoked by his enemies, Jesus gave us an example of righteous anger, without sin. —Chic Broersma

Prayer: Lord, help me to hold my anger in check.