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.”
Everyone at times struggles to keep his or her anger under control. For some all it takes to sin in their anger is a bad day in traffic. For others, they can give into sin when they encounter bad customer service and still for some, a long line at the grocery story can cause them to hurl insults. No matter what pushes our buttons, God expects us to keep our anger in check. God said in James 1:20, “Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” If we want to live righteous, we can’t do it with human anger!
We need to know the difference between “godly anger” and “human anger.” Godly anger is being angry about the things God is angry about. Human anger is being angry about what the flesh gets mad about. Godly anger is based in the loving and holy nature of God. Human anger is rooted in man’s selfishness and impatience.
Anger, like all good human emotions, came from God when we were first created in His image. We shouldn’t think that all anger is bad. God Himself gets angry and there are good times for us to be angry. However, we must learn to be angry and sin not (Ephesians 4:26).
For example, God became angry with Moses in Exodus 4:14, when he kept doubting what God was commanding him to do. This was justified on God’s part because unbelief and rebellion is sin. God didn’t want Moses to reject His commands and leave the Israelites in their suffering. At the same time, when Moses became angry with the Israelites and struck the rock out of impatience, God rightly punished him (Numbers 20:11-12).
As a result, godly anger is not based on man’s desires, but rather God’s desires. We should love what God loves and hate what He hates. Paul said in Romans 12:9, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Human anger lacks self-control but godly anger is always under control. Godly anger never produces sin, whereas, human anger always leads to sin. Human anger is man-centered, godly anger is God-centered. Godly anger reminds us of Jesus in the Jewish temple fighting for justice, but human anger reminds us of the devil fighting for revenge.
A hot-tempered person is someone that cannot control their anger and causes harm to others; whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual. We are told to avoid hot-tempered people because their evil ways can negatively influence us. For example, a child that grows up in a home with hot-tempered parents will likely be rash with their children.
So if you are a hot-tempered person, stop acting in the flesh and act like how Jesus made you to be. And if you know hot-tempered people, avoid close relationships with them until they change because they can poison your life. Billy Graham said, “Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.”
- Ask God to show you the times you were hot-tempered. Confess your sins, if you’ve haven’t already.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your emotions whenever you feel angry.
- Avoid close friendship with people who are hot-tempered.