Proverbs 12:16 A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame. (NKJV)
Foolishness is lack of wisdom. Foolish behavior manifests itself in various forms and choices.
“A fool’s wrath is known at once…” In other words, fools shoot off their mouth every time they feel like it, especially when mad, offended or insulted. This person will often be heard bragging how they “say what’s on their mind”, or “tell it like it is”.
Why is it foolish to have a quick, sharp tongue? What is wrong? What is missing?
- It shows a lack of self control
- It demonstrates a person who has not learned temperance, and meekness
- It means this person hasn’t matured past the point of being constantly on guard of their feelings
- It is evidence that self interest is the first priority, that “self” has not been “crucified in Christ”
A person who becomes easily, or frequently annoyed and irritated, is primarily motivated by ” self concern”. They get annoyed because someone spoke ill of them, or didn’t say what “should” have been said. They get irritated when something is happening that is not of personal interest or benefit to them. They are quick to show impatience and voice criticism when things aren’t happening exactly the way they want.
A foolish person is quickly irritated or annoyed;
and quick to tell you about it.
And they will always have a great reason why, which no doubt they will be glad to inform you of.
On the contrary, a wise man is thoughtful in response, and as a rule overlooks insults or offenses. The wise man has eternal interests at heart, and is more concerned with leading the other person closer to God. The wise man is not concerned with making sure everyone knows he is mad or offended. This wise person sees others through the Lord’s eyes and discerns the spiritual need that is underlying the behavior. A wise man loves others enough to see past the offense and into the sin that needs dealt with.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (NKJV)
The fool is worried about personal feelings. The wise man is concerned with helping the offender to turn to God. The fool sees their own critical impatience as merited and justified. The wise man gives no thought to how he personally feels, but seeks to discern only what God would do.
Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (NKJV)
If you are someone who is easily offended, often irritated, and you make sure everyone knows about it; then you are person who needs to carefully examine who is sitting on the throne of your life. If you are quick to anger, and frequently annoyed at other people, it is evidence that “self interest” is the king of your life, not Christ.
Father, help us to be slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to show mercy, patience and selflessness. Give us the wisdom and discernment to see the spiritual need of those who offend us, annoy us or bother us. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Are you easily irritated? Are you annoyed at somebody every day? Do people “get on your nerves”? Does your family? Your spouse?
Application: If yes, this betrays a self interest that needs to be dealt with before God. Christians should not be easily annoyed and quick to respond in irritation. Ask God to reveal the truth of this to you and give you strength to change.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?