Proverbs 29:11 (NLT)
Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
In Rocky 3 we are introduced to the infamous Clubber Lang, played marvelously and perfectly by the equally infamous, Mt. T. In this third addition of the seemingly unending Rocky series…Anger is the name of the game. Mr. T. is driven by his hatred of Rocky Balboa’s fame and once they meet, Rocky is easily triggered and then driven by his own anger towards Mr. T. In the end, Rocky learns to hold it back and regains his title while Mr. T. gives full vent to his anger and ends up in defeat. It’s an all too familiar story.
It’s important to notice that nowhere in Scripture does God command that we are not to get angry. In fact, if you rarely or never get angry, you are not being a very good Image Bearer! God’s anger burns hot in righteousness and so should ours. Injustice. Abuse. Enslavement. Lying. Pride. Wickedness. Sowing Discord. God hates and hates with intense fire (Pr. 6:16-19) and we should hate the same things…but of course, we do not hate with the accompanying perfection that only He possesses. That is why it is so important that we work to quietly hold it back.
The Book of Proverbs is the tale of the Foolish and the Wise, and we would do well to spend time in it on a daily basis, and especially given the times that we live in. Anger and outrage are the flavors of the day in the world and it’s easy to get caught up in that rush. We all seem to possess what I call “Keyboard Courage” and are quick to fly off the handle with a barrage of Tweets, Posts, and Anger Emoji’s. How often do you hold it back and show wisdom? How often do you give full vent to it and play the fool?
As a talk radio show host this is a battle I face on a daily basis…and oftentimes, find myself on the losing side, playing the fool on live radio across 13 states. We all have a platform on which rests our witness as followers of Jesus Christ. Is your witness characterized by outbursts of anger, or restraint? The vast majority of Jesus’ words in Scripture are for teaching, encouragement, and admonishment while only a small majority give voice to His perfect and just anger. Our lives should look very similar, if not exactly the same.