As we head into the weekend, we get a sobering warning against anger:
Ecc 7:9 Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.
Having a hair trigger temper is the mark of a fool according to today’s verse. In our current culture, we are given “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” so as to help humanity to avoid things that can activate our anger…Whether or not we are given a trigger warning or a safe space, issues are going to come up every day in our lives that will roust our anger, that’s just how we are built. Our anger and our pride are tied together.
That original sin that we are born with puts us at the centers of our own universe, if something comes into to our orbit that we don’t like, it pushes us towards a rage. It can be someone playing their music too loud, talking over us, making a snide remarks…etc, we all have our own triggers that send us into anger, mainly because it assails our pride. These perceived injustices like when we do something for someone but they don’t reciprocate can weigh us down.
Let’s look for a moment at the context of today’s verse and how the Bible was written. the Bible is presented to us in two forms, there is good and evil, darkness and light, God and Satan, and throughout Solomon’s writings across the Proverbs and here in Ecclesiastes, wisdom and foolishness. Foolishness, is linked to wickedness, which is tied to darkness which is the opposite of righteousness. Anger and foolishness are presented together, and this darkness is the exact opposite of righteousness and wisdom.
When we feel that anger burning within us, appealing to our prideful nature, we should remember how Jesus acted when He was confronted by Satan in the wilderness…He said get behind me Satan, and was able to resist the devil, three times!
Jesus’s half brother, James also gives us some good instruction on fighting anger in James 1:19 and 20 when James tells us: But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
When we get angry, we are acting wickedly, not Godly. And as our initial verse tells us, anger resides in the bosom of the fools. These are some ways to combat that anger when it rises in us, and remember what Jesus did, He recognized wickedness as the work of the devil when He was tempted and said get behind me Satan, we too can apply these solutions in our own lives through prayer just as Christ did, and we should remember that He is always with us.
So good luck with your anger this weekend and remember to pray and that anger is a tool of the devil.