Proverbs 22:24-25, “24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”
We all at times struggle to keep our emotions in check. For some all it takes is a bad day in traffic, others can be easily set off by phone reps with cable companies, and still for some a long line at the check out counter can spell disaster. No matter what pushes your buttons God expects you and I to keep our anger in check. James said James 1:20, “…human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Therefore, we need to know the difference between “godly anger” and “ungodly temper.” Anger, like every emotion, came from God when we were first created in His image. The Bible gives clear examples of times that God was angry; Exodus 4:14 & 32:10. At the same time, Moses was told by God in Exodus 34:6 that He is, “…compassionate and gracious…, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
As a result, godly anger is not rash, however, ungodly anger is quick tempered. Ungodly anger results in lack of self-control, godly anger is always under control. Godly anger never produces sin, whereas, ungodly anger is harmful and dangerous to the innocent. Therefore, in the above proverb King Solomon is giving a stern warning against being friends with a “hot-tempered” and “easily angered” person.
A hot-tempered person is someone that cannot control their anger and as a result can cause both physical and emotional harm to others. We are told to avoid hot-tempered people because their evil ways will rub off onto us. Therefore, especially as parents we should never raise our children in a home of rash anger, but rather in patient love. Because we are the greatest example our children will ever know.
Everyone needs to make a decision today to not react to situations in anger, but rather be slow to become angry and abound in compassion and grace.
- Ask God to show you the times you were easily angered and hot-tempered. Repent and be cleansed.
- Decide to let the Holy Spirit guide your emotions in righteousness whenever you face times of feeling angry.
- Avoid close friendship with easily angered people and be an example of Christ’s love and patience everywhere you go.