He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. ~Proverbs 14:29
Whenever we drive, it is important to pay strict attention to the road signs. One of these signs that we need to watch for is the one that instructs us to slow down. Sometimes, we are to slow down because of a school site where children are crossing, or we need to slow down because the speed limit is about to be reduced. Slowing down is making sure that we are not driving at an unsafe speed and placing ourselves at great risk. This morning, we want to consider the exhortation of being slow to wrath.
There is the definition in wrath.
Wrath occurs when anger has been allowed to fester and advance to the place where deep-seated resentment and a spirit of vengeance set in. Wrath is when we seek to retaliate for an injustice committed against us. A great example of wrath is what occurs during road rage. Road rage is when one driver of a car is greatly incensed by another driver’s actions and immediately seeks to injure and hurt the other driver. Wrath is unrestrained anger that is not satisfied until vengeance has been committed.
There is the danger in wrath.
Wrath leads to property damage and personal injury. Wrath led to Cain’s murder of Abel. In wrath, Saul sought to kill David. James said that "the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." Wrath is a grievous sin. Wrath ruins marriages and families. Wrath divides and splits churches. Nothing ever good comes out of wrath. Wrath grieves the Holy Spirit. When we act too hastily to resolve a matter that we have not given thought to, we will bring ourselves into unnecessary misery.
There is the deliverance from wrath.
Solomon said, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding.” In order for us to prevent wrath from setting in and causing us much grief, we are to slow down. Slow down, and consider the ramifications of making a hasty decision. Slow down, and consider what retaliation could do to you and to other people. Slow down, and consider how reacting with harsh and hurtful words could hurt relationships for many years to come. Slow down, and realize that retaliation is not the will of God. Slow down, and realize that you are depicting the action of a fool when you act out of wrath. Slow down, and remember that nothing ever good comes out of wrath.
A lady once came to Billy Sunday and tried to rationalize her angry outbursts. "There's nothing wrong with losing my temper," she said. "I blow up, and then it's all over." "So does a shotgun," Sunday replied, "and look at the damage it leaves behind!"
Check your spirit this morning. If the actions of others create a spirit of anger, vengeance, and retaliation, you need to slow down and let God have control. Confess your sin to God and allow the Holy Spirit to establish control in your life where things are out of control. Slow down, and remember that there is a better way.
Have a wrath-free God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 58-65