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Who Is A Fool?
Part #4 A Quick Temper

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,"
Ephesians 5:15

Reviewing the Definition of A Fool

Lets begin by reviewing the Biblical definition of a fool. The term fool is often used for a sinful, wicked or immoral person who will not obey the commands of the Lord. The fool acts contrary to biblical wisdom in his choices and behavior. He follows his own inclinations and desires. The fool prefers to enjoy the immediate, insignificant pleasures of the here and now to obeying and serving the Lord and being rewarded in eternity.

Who is a fool? A person is a fool who is quick tempered & does NOT control his or her anger

"Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:9

"A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. 17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated." Proverbs 14:16-17

  • Anger Defined

Anger is a violent passion of the mind excited by a real or supposed injury; usually accompanied with a propensity to take vengeance, or to obtain satisfaction from the offending party. This passion however varies in degrees of violence, and in ingenuous minds, may be attended only with a desire to reprove or chide the offender. (1828 Websters Dictionary)

  • Examination of 2 Key Words

First, lets look at the phrase in Ecclesiastes 7:9 which says, "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry." The word hasty is a translation of the Hebrew word which means to act hastily. In the context, it is an admonition not to be a "hot head" or quick tempered.

Next we come to the phrase "soon angry" in Proverbs 14:17. The word soon is the Hebrew word that means short. Again, it is a reference to someone who has a "short fuse" or quickly loses his temper. I think of people like this as those who have a cherry bomb temperament. When I was a kid we used to be able to get firecrackers called Cherry Bombs. They were round, about circumference of a quarter. They had a waterproof fuse. But there was a problem. The fuses were short. So whatever you were going to do you had to do quickly because you only had about 4 seconds to get out of the way and theyd go off. Quick-tempered people are just like Cherry Bombs. Before you even realize they are upset they blow up!

  • 4 Reasons It Is Foolish To Be Quick-tempered

First, anger makes you careless! Though it is a bit obscure, this thought is in the phrase, "the fool rageth, and is confident." Proverbs 14:16. The word confident is the Hebrew word is also translated careless! An angry person is a careless person. An angry person is a reckless person. They dont stop to think how their angry outbursts affect those around them. They "blow up" all over everyone, leaving them upset and perhaps fearful. Then they go along their merry way not paying any attention to the havoc they caused. They have forgotten it and they mistakenly think that everyone else has also.

Second, anger goads you to make wrong choices. Verse 17 says, "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly." That is, when a person is quick tempered, that person has the propensity or tendency to make wrong choices or to do foolish things. A graphic illustration of this very thing is clearly seen in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:19-22. He lost some of his top military men because he was so angry with three Hebrew teenagers who would not bow down and worship his idol.

Third, anger has negative social consequences. Nobody enjoys being around an angry, bitter, hateful person. They are depressing to be around. They drag you down. Anger warps the personality and squeezes the joy out of the angry persons life, replacing it with a "sour grapes" attitude. In fact the Bible instructs us not to be friends with an angry person. Proverbs 22:24-25 says, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."

It is important to point out that the writer of Proverbs says anger is a learned behavior! The verse is clear, we are to avoid being friends with people who cannot control their tempers. Remember, "anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:9

Forth, anger has negative health consequences too. I Kings 21:4-6 shows how Ahabs anger affect him physically. He was depressed; he lost his appetite and his motivation.

If anger continuously smolders just underneath the surface in your life, you are asking for health problems. I have read studies on anger that suggest that 60% to 80% of illness results from hostility. Emotions such as anger, envy, resentment, worry etc. can cause ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, strokes, heart trouble, headaches, hardening of the arteries, kidney disease, arthritis and more according to medical studies.

Is there biblical support for the assertion that anger can have physical consequences? The answer is yes! Turn to Proverbs 14:30 "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones." The word envy comes from the Hebrew word which means passionate anger against someone or something. The old Baptist commentator writing on this verse said, "a sound heart is a quiet heart; a heart free from wrath, anger, and envy, and such like passions and perturbations; this contributes much to the health of the body, and the comfort of life." But a person filled with passionate anger, Gill says, "preys upon his own spirits, and not only wastes his flesh, but weakens and consumes the stronger parts of his body, the bones." Anger is unhealthy! "Anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:9

We have seen that being quick-tempered or angry

1) Makes you careless

2) Goads you to make wrong choices

3) Has negative social consequences and

4) Has negative health consequences as well.

  • Biblical Instructions On How To Handle Anger Wisely

There are many verses that give clear instructions on anger. Here are just a few.

1. Confess Anger As Sin - "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth." Colossians 3:8

2. As God To Set A Watch Over Your Mouth & Prompt You To Think Before You Speak - "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." Psalms 141:3 & "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things." Proverbs 15:28

3. Forgive Those You Are Angry With - "Forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:13

4. Memorize Key Scripture Verses On Anger -- Proverbs 16:32 "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." & James 1:19 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"

Anger rests in the bosom of fools! A wise man will take steps to be sure that his anger is under control. Are you wise or foolish?

Who Is A Fool?

Part #1 A person is a fool who denies the existence of God. Psalms 14:1
Part #2 A person is a fool who trusts in his own heart. Proverbs 28:26
Part #3 A person is a fool who despises wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
Part #4 A person is a fool who is quick-tempered & Does NOT control his/her anger. Ecc. 7:9; Proverbs 14:16-17
Part #5 A person is a fool who scoffs at sin. Proverbs 14:9; 10:23

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