Proverbs 14:17 states, "A quick-tempered person acts foolishly."
Gloria Owen of San Jose, California, said she had been looking for a parking space for 10 minutes one day, while taking her mother to a doctor's visit. She finally spotted one, only to see Edna Gilliam zoom in just ahead of her. The two women got out of their cars.
Ms. Gilliam said that Ms. Owens grabbed her sweater and threw her to the ground, hospitalizing Ms. Gilliam for six weeks. Ms. Owens pleaded no contest to battery, and was sentenced to three years probation. Ms. Owens was 68 and Ms. Gilliam was 88.
This is a reminder of the Chinese proverb, "The torrid sun melts mountain snows. When anger comes, then wisdom goes."
The Bible is clear that such anger is forbidden. James wrote, "The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God," James 1:20. Paul commands us to put off "anger, malice, and slander," Colossians 3:8.
Cicero said that when anger entered into the scene, "nothing could be done rightly and nothing sensibly." Seneca called anger "a brief insanity." Proverbs 12:16 declares that anger is a quality of fools, and Ecclesiastes 7:9 confirms that, "Anger rests in the bosom of fools."
Charles Buxton said, "Bad temper is its own scourge. Few things are bitterer than to feel bitter. A man's venom poisons himself more than his victim."
The words "anger" and "angina" are related. People long ago noticed that chest pains often followed angry outbursts. Also, characters in Victorian novels, described as angry and red-faced, often suffered apoplexy, which we now call stroke.
A study done by the Harvard Medical School revealed that for two hours after an angry outburst, some people's risk of having a heart attack is doubled. Proverbs 27:3, "A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but a fool's wrath is heavier that both of them."
Remember, "Temper, if ungoverned, governs the whole man."
Proverbs 16:32 informs, "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Grover Patterson reminded us, "When you restrain yourself from relieving your feelings at the expense of somebody else, when you restrain yourself from making somebody else unhappy for the satisfaction of speaking your mind, you prove that you have advanced out of the hair-trigger stage of prehistoric days."
A woman spoke to Billy Sunday about her temper. She said it was bad, but that it was over in a minute. Billy Sunday replied, "So is a shot gun, but it blows everything to pieces!"
"Keep raising the roof and people will think there is something wrong in your attic" (Franklin P. Jones).
James1:19, "Let every man...be slow to wrath."
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida