Good Advice on Living
“My parents’ fights follow a definite pattern,” wrote a 15-year-old girl. “The argument heats up and . . . then Mom starts to get real mad and she’ll throw something. Dad throws something back or gives her a slap across the mouth. She cries and he leaves the house and sleeps at his mother’s.”
Outbursts of anger are common. A recent survey showed that nearly one in six American married couples engage in violent outbursts in which they kick, bite or even threaten to kill each other.
Such explosions of wrath are not unusual in other lands either. In Japan an angry housewife threw a box of matches at her husband. They ignited and fell into a container of fireworks. The explosion killed her husband and her three young daughters.
Outbursts of anger are not new. For example, Alexander the Great was not so great when it came to controlling his temper. When provoked by a close friend, Alexander gave in to his temper and threw an apple at him. Still in a fit of rage, Alexander snatched a spear and ran it through his friend. Says the historian Plutarch: When the king saw what he had done, he “would have thrust [the spear] into his own throat, if the guards had not held his hands, and by main force carried him away into his chamber, where all that night and next day he wept bitterly.”
Do you ever give in to fits of anger? If so, reflect on the counsel in these proverbs: “Anyone disposed to rage has many a transgression.” (Prov. 29:22) “All his spirit is what a stupid one lets out, but he that is wise keeps it calm to the last.” (Prov. 29:11) The one who gives in to his anger may feel that he gets relief, but it is only momentary.
At Proverbs 16:32, the Bible gives this good advice: “He that is slow to anger is better than a mighty man, and he that is controlling his spirit than the one capturing a city.”
Apply this good advice in your life. Be wise. Keep your spirit calm. Avoid the damage and regrets that come from giving in to anger.