Slow to Anger
“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” (Prov. 19:11)
One of the many amazing things about God is that He is “slow to anger and abounding in mercy” (Ps. 103:8). Though He certainly deserves to be enraged with us over our sin, He mercifully sets aside His anger as He awaits our confession and repentance. Though God is slow to anger, unfortunately the same often can’t be said of us. When someone offends us, or gossips about us, or simply beats us to the punch on something, we allow our emotions to get the best of us by lashing out in anger.
Solomon has a lesson for us today – “the discretion of a man makes him slow to anger.” One man defined discretion as “the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense.” The word is often interchangeable with “wisdom.” In this case, wisdom says that it’s much better to avoid anger than to be overcome with rage. Why? Because we can say things and do things that can never be taken back. No amount of apologizes can take back many things we later regret.
We need to understand that “his glory is to overlook a transgression.” Let’s be honest – this is something we ALL struggle with. When someone mistreats us, our natural inclination is to retaliate with something similar or worse than what they did to us. Even though we don’t want to, we need to suppress the desire for revenge and learn to overlook things that have no eternal significance. Is there someone you’re currently at odds with? Perhaps it’s time for you to forgive and put away the anger.