“Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”
We live in such a fast-paced society that the response of our spirit has become reactionary instead of measured. You now have to be careful as you drive down the highway that you don’t get someone upset because they may react in an adverse manner. People in general seem to be more quickly upset than they were years ago. I think this is in part due to the speed at which people are forced to react.
God warns us in the verse above, “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Many people have avoided this advice only to find themselves paying a great price. I think of someone I worked with years ago who spent several years in prison for an act of rage that led him to break the law. His hasty spirit led to anger, and the anger led to a reaction that will follow him for the rest of his life. That is what Proverbs 14:17 is teaching when it says, “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly…” Foolish acts are always the result of a person whose spirit is quickly angered. Let me give you several thoughts about being “hasty in thy spirit to be angry…”
First, a quickly angered spirit is the result of not being Spirit-filled. Your body and emotions will be under control when you are filled with the Spirit of God. When a person quickly reacts and loses their temper, they are revealing their lack of Holy Spirit control. The best way to get control of an angry spirit is to yield to the Holy Spirit of God. If you yield to the Holy Spirit every minute of the day, you will find that life won’t anger you so quickly.
Second, a person who is quickly angered disqualifies themselves from leadership positions. Titus 1:7 says, “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;” It’s amazing how we look at the list of qualifications for a preacher and often miss the qualification that he should not be “soon angry.” If a preacher should not be “soon angry,” neither should any other leader. The people you lead need someone whose spirit is completely under control. If you can’t control how quickly you get angry, you should never seek a position to lead because you will eventually hurt those whom you are privileged to lead.
Third, James 1:19 is the answer to getting your spirit under control. This verse says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” In other words, this verse is teaching to slow down and breathe. If you want to get your spirit under control, you are going to have to purposely slow down all your reactions. It doesn’t matter whether the reaction is good or bad, every reaction must be a controlled reaction. Any reaction that is uncontrolled will eventually lead to all reactions being bad.
My friend, many Christians have hurt their testimony because they couldn’t control their spirit. It won’t matter how good of a preacher you are, how many souls you lead to Christ, how many people you bring to church on your bus route, or how many attend your Sunday school class, if you don’t get control of your spirit, you will eventually cause those you lead to distrust you. The best test to determine whether your spirit is soon angry is if people have to walk on eggshells around you out of fear that you will get angry. Don’t allow anger to ruin your Christian testimony. Be measured with every reaction and your spirit will not be “soon angry.”