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Words of Wisdom

“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly” (Proverbs 14:29). When someone wrongs us, or when something doesn’t go our way, it’s easy for our first reaction to be anger. We like to complain about everything going wrong in our lives, finding a perverted satisfaction in justifying why we consider ourselves to be the most miserable of creatures. But Solomon teaches that this is folly. Instead of getting mad when things go wrong, we need to have a calm spirit. The one who is slow to anger understands far more than the one who rages about everything.

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Consistent throughout Proverbs is the theme that wise people surround themselves with other wise people. This builds upon the concept laid in the beginning of the book, that wisdom is teachable and is willing to learn from other wise people. One person may create what seems to him a solid plan, but if he seeks the advice of others, they will be able to point out potential issues that he missed. We will all benefit from the counsel of others. God Himself said that it is not good for man to be alone. He created us to need others, and getting others’ advice is one of the best ways to put this concept into practice.

“When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD” (Proverbs 19:3). This proverb is convicting for pretty much everyone. When through our own poor choices things come crashing down around us, we have to blame somebody. And so often, instead of placing the blame properly on our own shoulders, we throw it all on God. We become angry with Him for allowing something like this to happen, for not protecting us, for not stopping us. We choose to blame God for the mistakes He’d warned us through His Word to not make. This is obviously not the attitude we need to have. When we hurt ourselves, we can’t blame God for it. It’s not His fault. Instead, we must come to Him in humility, acknowledging that we’ve stubbornly refused to listen to Him and begging for His forgiveness and help. An attitude of anger will only increase the problem.

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