You’re seeing it right. Smack dab in the middle of this Chapter, we see a new list of “30 Wise Sayings.” These are all designed to teach us so we will trust in the Lord. Solomon’s words are meant to help us navigate this life and avoid the common problems that often plague us and keep us separated from God. Today’s selection is particularly helpful.
We all know angry people. What counsel do we have? “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” That’s pretty harsh. Don’t befriend or even associate with angry people. I suppose it’s true that we often take on the characteristics of those we hang around with. We start talking with an accent or using phrases we hear our friends use. It’s a natural occurrence. If we want to avoid negative behaviors, it makes sense that we should stay away from people who have them.
Anger doesn’t just happen. People aren’t born angry. Something has happened in their life that has left them bitter, resentful, or hurt. Others may have a strong personality that lashes out because that is what they witnessed as a child in a parent or other person of authority. We don’t have to stay angry.
We will all feel anger at some time in our lives. Even Jesus got angry. Remember his fury when he saw the temple overtaken with money changers and commerce? It’s what we do with that anger. It’s how we let anger define us that matters. Much of what controls us is how we perceive a situation. Do we feel victimized? Do we feel unable to get what we want? Selfishness can play a big role in fueling our anger.
Since starting our business and learning the importance of personal development, I see things in such a different light. I had never given much thought to how I was made, why I thought what I did, and certainly not why I acted a certain way. I was just me. I was happy in my oblivion. Or was I? I just didn’t know any better. I hadn’t taken the time in my busy schedule to ever work on me or my issues.
We all have hang-ups. Anger might be one of those things for you or someone you know and love. There is an answer. We need to depend on God more. We need to be seeking his will for our lives. We should be seeking answers to why and digging deep to uncover some unresolved hurts that are holding us back. Ask, what is it that is causing me to lash out in anger? It doesn’t have to be this way. We can manage our anger with God’s help. This goes for stuffing our anger inside, too. That is not healthy either and can lead to other displays of inappropriate behavior. God is there to help.
Should we avoid people who are angry? Granted, they aren’t the most pleasant to be around, yet God loves them just the same. Use this “warning” as wisdom of what to prepare for, your need to stand strong and not get pulled into also being angry and short-tempered yourself. There is a better way.
Let’s pray … Lord, I don’t like how I feel inside when I am angry or trying to stuff my feelings. Forgive me for lashing out and saying things to others that is hurtful. Thank you for the counsel today. I will be more careful when I am around people who are angry with the world or something outside of their control. I know you don’t want me to get sucked into their negativity. Thank you that you have patience with us all as we figure out the plan you have for us. Open my eyes and heart to be ready to be your servant. In Jesus’ name. Amen.