Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Angry Words - Proverbs

Tame the Tongue of Anger

Osprey with catch

A fool 's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.  Proverbs  18:6

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.  Proverbs 15:4

With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.  Proverbs 25:15

A fool gives full vent to his spirit,  but a wise man quietly holds it back.  Proverbs 29:11

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.  Proverbs 14:29

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.  Proverbs 19:11

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.  Proverbs 29:11

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.  Proverbs 15:18

A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.  Proverbs 29:22


A fool 's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.  Proverbs  18:6  We have talked about the fool before.  In Proverbs the fool is one who does not know God.  Lips in this verse  is a metonymy of cause.  It means what is said, or the speech of the fool.  The mouth in the second part of the couplet is also a metonymy for speech. This verse is a completive couplet, noted by the word and.  The two parts of the couplet complete the thought.  Strife is the effect of a fight, and the flogging is  an effect of the strife.  Therefore, what the fool says calls for a beating or flogging.  The fool deserves the punishment, but he did not actually request it.

At the top of the page are found a few of the Bible verses that are associated with the bad effects of anger.  These are all from Proverbs, but there are many others found in the Scriptures.  Anger does not always involve the tongue, but quite often it does.  Some will express their anger by not speaking at all. That makes me very angry when someone does that.  Anger is not explicitly forbidden in the Bible. 

The believer should listen well and consider carefully choose their words before he speaks.  This will restrain one's, anger and prevent hasty, nasty, irretrievable words.  One cannot un-say something.  Once the tongue has done its job and the word has been said, the words cannot be taken back.

There is nothing wrong with differing opinions or disagreements. Freedom of expression often will lead to arguments and differences of opinions. Differences in opinions are inevitable and sometimes unavoidable.  Becoming out-of-bounds angry is a choice, and a very poor choice.   It is not so much a question of do you disagree, but how you disagree.


Anger devours almost all other good emotions. It deadens the soul. It numbs the heart to joy and gratitude and hope and tenderness and compassion and kindness.  –– John Piper

The first thing to understand about anger is that it isn't always a bad thing. Many people, especially Christians, have the mistaken notion that anger is intrinsically evil. As a result, they feel needless guilt. The idea that a Christian is never allowed to be angry is a demonic myth that tends to produce neurotic anxiety. I've had to struggle with this myth nearly all my life.     R.C. Sproul

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