“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”Proverbs 16:32
Many of us may act and think we are spiritual, but there will come a test to see where we truly stand. I have faced many of these tests, and failed most of them. When you live in close quarters with someone, you can lose your temper a time or two while you dwell under the same roof. The day could start off well, but all it takes is a simple home project to put things in disarray. Let’s just say I speak from experience when I say a good test of your spirituality is to assemble IKEA furniture with your spouse.
Throughout the years, I have received calls from my wife that do not include good news. It could be the garbage disposal is broken or that she was involved in an auto accident. Praise God she has never been seriously hurt, but my first response is usually not the greatest. I have often gotten angry with her for the accident, and I have failed my sanctification test. It had been quite some time since I was given this type of test, but this week I was given a pop quiz that I did not expect.
I was at the gym when a call came in from my wife. I thought she was calling me to discuss dinner plans, but this was not that type of call. She told me she was involved in a minor fender bender, and I am still not sure if she was calling for my advice or if she was calling to notify me of the accident so I would have time to cool off before I got home. I am an auto adjuster by day, so I know the process quite well. I was amazed at the calmness I had when she told me what had happened, and there was not any part of me that was angry. I was surprised at myself, but thankful to God for the grace He gave me on the pop quiz. I gave my wife some instructions of what steps to take, and soon after that came home. She later told me that in years past, I would have gotten really angry and ultimately made things worse. I thank God for His help and favor on this quiz, and I continue to need His grace for all the other moments in life.
I have not always been slow to anger, and the anger test is one I seldom pass. I love this verse because it shows how we need to control our temper in all areas, and if we don’t, it can have some pretty grave consequences. Many a life has been ruined due to anger, and it can take but a brief moment to ruin a lifelong relationship. This verse reminds us that we must control our passions, and we need God’s grace to control our spirit and to ensure our emotions are under control even in the most adverse situations.
Are you controlling your spirit? How is your attitude? Are you slow to anger or do you have a short fuse? What does it take for you to blow your top? Who have you hurt by your anger that you need to apologize to? How did Jesus react to those who struck Him and mocked Him? Did He have control of His spirit, or did he break out in a murderous rage? Luke 23:34a tells us, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” May we grow in grace everyday, and may we ask for His help to control our spirit and be slow to anger. Will you pass your pop quiz today?