Overcoming Anger

He that is soon angry will deal foolishly….
Proverbs 14:17 (American Standard Version)

Soon Angry

You know who they are (and maybe it’s the guy in the mirror). They have a low boiling point, so low that the slightest annoyance will make them sizzling hot with anger.

But the Bible is clear – those that lose their temper easily or quickly will act like a fool.

There was a guy named Auda and he was an Arabian chieftain who led a revolt against the Ottoman Turks in World War I. He hated the Turks and in his angry hatred maintained that the Turks had never done a good thing.

But an aid to Auda pointed out that his dentures were made by a Turk. “Surely those teeth must be good or you would not be using them!”

What did Auda do? He got “soon angry.” How did he act? “Foolishly.” He jumped up, ripped out his dentures and smashed them against a rock!

But after his anger cooled, he realized just what he had done! Now he would have to spend several months waiting for new dentures to be made. He would have to spend that time eating boiled rice and milk.

He that is soon angry will deal foolishly….”

Deal Foolishly

Then there is the story that comes out of Springfield, Illinois. A poor man owed a rich man $2.50 (this was in the 1840’s). The rich man wanted his money and he wanted it right now. The poor man couldn’t pay him right away but that didn’t mean anything to the rich man. He was angry and he was ready to fight. And fight he did!

He took the poor man to court to get his $2.50. The rich man needed a lawyer to represent him and wanted the best to ensure that he would get his $2.50. So, he secured the services of Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln didn’t want to take the case, seeing it as silly as it truly was. But the rich man wouldn’t leave Lincoln alone. So, Lincoln finally agreed to take the case but only if the rich man would pay him $10. This rich man was so angry that he was willing to pay $10 in order to get his $2.50 back!

But the story gets better. Lincoln took the $10 and went to the poor man and told him he would give him $5 if he took half of it to pay the rich man back.

The rich man was “soon angry” and the rich man acted “foolishly.”

Lincoln got $5 and the poor man got $2.50. And yes, the rich man got his $2.50 back. But it cost him $10!

Overcoming Anger

It’s a fact of life that you will get angry. Someone honking their horn behind you or tailgating will make you mad. The guy “trash talking” on the court will stoke the fires of anger. And if you’re not careful, that will lead you to act foolishly.

How can we overcome anger and thereby avoid acting foolishly? We must, first, admit our own fault and be willing also to acknowledge it before God. We are then able to receive help from Him. This is the way in which one of the Psalmists was helped. He confessed, “O God, You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hid from You.” He prayed, “Save me, O God.” And only God could really save him. So it was then, and so it is today. God can help us to overcome every fault and sin. We need His grace and strength to uphold us in this life.

(Stories taken from “Story Talks for Children” by Rev. Karl Rest, Salem Church, Wanatah, Indiana, ©1942, The Warburg Press)


Heavenly Father, help me to overcome my anger. Help me to remain calm and to seek your solutions in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

©2018 True Men Ministries

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