Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32
I ran across the following words by Matthew Henry on controlling anger. Read it slow. Don’t rush through his words but linger over them. Think about the picture that he is painting. May it help you if you are one of those people (like me!) who “loses it” sometimes.
Meekness teaches us prudently to govern our own anger whenever any thing occurs that is provoking. As it is the work of temperance to moderate our natural appetites in things that are pleasing to sense, so it is the work of meekness to moderate our natural passions against those things that are displeasing to sense, and to guide and govern our resentments. Anger in the soul is like metal in a horse, good if it be well managed.
Now meekness is the bridle, as wisdom is the hand that gives law to it, puts it into the right way, and keeps it in an even, steady, and regular pace; reducing it when it turns aside, preserving it in a due decorum, and restraining it and giving it check when at any time it grows headstrong and outrageous, and threatens mischief to ourselves or others. It must thus be held in, like the horse and mule, with bit and bridle, lest it break the hedge, run over those that stand in its way, or throw the rider himself headlong. It is true of anger, as we say of fire, that it is a good servant but a “bad master;” it is good on the hearth, but bad in the hangings. Meekness keeps it in its place, sets banks to this sea, and says, Hitherto thou shalt come, and no further; here shall thy proud waves be stayed. Matthew Henry- Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
The funny thing is that I typed this up yesterday (Wednesday) then “lost it” with my kids this morning (Thursday) as they were getting ready for school. I guess I need to go back and re-read this a little bit slower. It’s just another reminder that we never “arrive” in this life, but Jesus still loves us and the Holy Spirit is relentless in His transforming work. That’s good news to me.