Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools (Eccl. 7:5).
The human heart should be sad when it finds that it has made a mistake.
- “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding” (Prov. 15:31-33).
Note the pathway to understanding is through being rebuked. Thus sadness is the pathway to gaining understanding. The proud will not listen to a rebuke and therefore the proud cannot grow in understanding.
- “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (Eccl. 7:9).
Note that Jesus was angry at the ones who were looking for an excuse to accuse him, but did he respond in anger?
And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. 4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. 5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other (Mark 3:2-5).
The wrath of man and the wrath of God are different.
- “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
God’s wrath or anger will work for the good of man and not any harm at all. We are supposed to put away anger as well as wrath.
- “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (Eph. 4:31).
Many will say that anger is not a sin, which is true, but keep in mind that verse 31 tells us to get rid of it.
- “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” (Eph. 4:26).
- “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated” (Prov. 14:17).
- “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife” (Prov. 15:18 18).
- “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Prov. 16:32 32).
- “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Prov. 19:11 11).
Go back and re-read Mark 3:2-5 and notice what Jesus did when the Pharisees tried to catch him in something wrong. He looked on them with anger, but he responded with a good work for the man with the withered hand. Did he scream or yell at the wicked men who wanted to do evil to him? Did he slap them around or throw things at them? Did he even respond to them? No. He simply healed the man’s withered hand.
- “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (Prov. 22:24-25).
Beth Johnson May 2003