Hot Heads

Hot Heads

Denny Petrillo

“A quick-tempered man acts foolishly,

And a man of evil devices is hated.”

(Proverbs 14:17)

     Can we even travel anywhere without encountering “road rage”?  It seems that the smallest infraction (if it even is an infraction) will provoke rage on the part of the “offended.”  Counselors tell us that one of the major character issues they deal with is…anger!  It seems our world is filled with people who cannot keep their emotions in check. 

     This verse, and several others like it, discusses plainly the hot head.  Notice several observations regarding the “quick-tempered man.”

     First, he is acting foolishly.  There is no sugar-coating this one.  There is no attempt to justify the anger.  Simply put, there is no excuse for it.  The angry person is the fool.  The fool is one who does dumb things, who acts irrationally and impulsively (Psalms 37:8; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Job 36:18; James 1:19).  

     Second, he is causing damage.  When his anger boils over, he is out of control and he will overreact.  A trickle turns into a flood (Proverbs 27:4); something insignificant turns into a major ordeal; one that could lead to the dissolution of a marriage, the destruction of a friendship or even the taking of another’s life.  His overaction is not an event in a vacuum.  It impacts everyone involved, and never in a good, constructive way.

     Third, he is provoking others.  Anger breeds anger.  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).  Where there was no strife, a reaction in anger creates it (Proverbs 15:18; 30:33). “Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:21).

     Are you a hot head?  It is time to let the power of this verse resonate in your thinking and to begin making positive changes.  Nobody wants to be a fool (Proverbs 17:14, 29; 29:11; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Job 5:2). The Proverbs teach that wisdom is found in the person who self-controlled (16:32).  There is no reason, no excuse for Christians to be angry, quick-tempered people.

“He who restrains his words has knowledge,

And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”

(Proverbs 17:27)