A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
If you’re like me—and hopefully in this case, you’re not—it doesn’t take much to get me hot under the collar. One of the most recent examples happened just the other day in a crowded parking lot.
I had been trolling the lot for several minutes looking for an available space when I spotted a woman getting into her car. She was close by so I was able to pull up behind her car and wait while she backed out and drove away, leaving an empty spot for me to park. At least, that was my plan.
Just as she pulled away and I was about to pull in, another driver came from the opposite direction, zipped in front of me and stole the spot, nearly causing an accident in the process. The most unbelievable part was when the driver got out, he approached my vehicle on foot and acted as though I was the one at fault.
I instantly felt my blood boil as rage consumed my thoughts. I was ready to step out of the car and educate him on all the ways he was in the wrong. Then, by God’s grace, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and I knew I needed to move on. It wasn’t worth it. And at that moment, I was reminded of how Jesus dealt with his emotions.
Many of us grew up with a false personification of Jesus as a soft-spoken, meek man. And while he may have been those things, he certainly wasn’t weak, and he most certainly wasn’t a pushover. We only need to reference Matthew 21:12–13 to see an example of Jesus getting violently angry—just as I was about to do in the parking lot.
But there’s a big difference between what made me angry that day and the violence that Jesus demonstrated against the merchants in the Temple. Jesus’ passion was fueled by righteous anger. In other words, He was angered by the sins that anger God.
So the next time you feel your temper rise, no matter how big or small the issue, I pray you will remember Proverbs 12:16 and that you gain the same perspective I did before you do or say something you regret.
Save your anger for the true evils of this world.
Today’s author is Mark Henderson. He is the founder and host of The Inspired Legacy Podcast.