Anger Yields Anger, Wisdom Yields Patience
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)
Hurt people hurt people. When someone hurts you, it’s because they’ve been hurt. Unkind people have never felt kindness. Unloving people feel unloved. When someone is rude, bitter, unkind, sarcastic, mean spirited, or arrogant, they are shouting with all of their behaviors, “I am in pain! I need massive doses of love! I do not feel secure!”
On the other hand, the person who feels deeply loved and deeply secure is generous and gracious to other people.
If we just want to get even with people, that’s fine. But it means we’re no better than they are. The Bible tells us to overcome evil with good. This means, we respond with love. It means we look past their words to their pain.
Here’s a myth that everybody’s been sold by modern psychology: When it comes to anger, there’s only a set amount you’ll get throughput your life. It’s like you’ve got a bucket for anger, and when the bucket gets full, you need to pour it out — and that will be cathartic.
The problem is, you don’t have a bucket of anger in your life. You have a factory! That factory can keep on producing and producing and producing. When you get rid of the anger, you’ll just produce more.
In fact, the more anger you throw out, the more it produces. Study after study has shown that aggression only creates more aggression. Angry outbursts lead to more anger, more often, until it becomes a habitual pattern in your life.
The answer is not just to throw it out. The answer is to let it go. “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).
Talk About It
- Why do you think it is so hard for us to let things go, particularly with the people we love most?
- If you fill your life with love, what will overflow from your life?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.