Pop Goes the Weasel!
Proverbs 29:11, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (NIV)
Today we live in a society of anger. Road rage rears its ugly head over minor traffic infractions. Small annoyances infuriate us. Corporations offer anger management courses to help us deal with our tempers. Anger rules our lives.
I understand anger. My oldest son was hyperactive to the extreme. As a young, high-strung mom, I became furious at times with some of his antics, though never to the point of harming him. I realized that when my anger popped up like a sneaky weasel, it was time to put my son in time-out for a while. I needed the break, and so did he for his own safety.
What we must realize is that anger in and of itself is not sin. Anger is a God-given emotion. Even Jesus became angry at times (See Mark 3:5; John -17). Anger is an emotional response to certain situations. However, when anger begins to consume us or turns us into people of uncontrollable rage, that is when we need to look for guidance and learn how to manage it.
Fortunately, God gives followers of Christ their own handbook on anger management—the Bible. Ephesians reads, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” I can’t count how many times I have gone to bed in anger with my husband. I roll my back to him and stew for hours about the perceived injustice, while he snores peacefully in a deep sleep. Grrrr . . . growls my anger. How dare he sleep when I am mad? He wakes up with a cheery outlook; I roll out of bed with a migraine. How much better would it be if I were to let go of my anger and to sleep with peace in my heart?
Another verse states, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV). I learned the truth of this verse with my teenagers. They responded much better to a gentle verbal response than when I lashed out at them with a harsh word or tone. I plastered this verse everywhere in my home and even in my car. The verse reminded me that I could choose anger or gentleness. It was my decision. I could choose gentleness or pop my emotional cork!
So now, when my anger threatens to run away with me, I grab my anger management Book. I search the Scriptures to determine which ones apply to my immediate circumstances. I want to be wise in my anger, not like a fool who pops like a weasel.
Dear Lord, teach me how to control my anger in a godly manner. Help me not to rage out of control at the people that I love the most. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Perplexing Proverbs—A Woman’s Bible Study by Susanne Scheppmann
Study the Scripture verses found in today’s devotion. Write them on an index card and refer to them for those times when you feel your anger surge. Keep them in a handy place for future reference.
What types of circumstances tend to make me angry?
Do I hold onto my anger for days?
Do I use gentle words when I am upset about something?
Ecclesiastes 7:9, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. (NIV)
Proverbs 29:8, “Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger.” (NIV)
Psalm 145:8, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 05 June 2007.