Proverbs 12:16

A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

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Shame on you! What are you angry about? Why are you upset? What is all that bad? Why are you so bent out of shape? The goodness of God endureth continually (Ps 52:1)! You have ten times as many things to be happy and thankful about than to be mad about!

A quick temper marks a fool, since prudent men avoid the shame of wrath by ruling their spirits. Be quick to hear, forgive, and serve; but be slow to speak and to wrath (Jas 1:19). It is infants and young, poorly-trained children that scream for little or no reason; do not prove yourself immature to others by not being able to control and govern your emotions.

Wrath is vehement or violent anger; intense exasperation or resentment; deep indignation. Wise men, obeying the Bible, rule their spirits to keep from such feelings toward others, unless the cause is virtuous and justifiable (Pr 14:17,29). “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Pr 16:32).

Anger and wrath are powerful passions, and they make men say and do things they would not otherwise do. Therefore, they must be ruled, and ruled tightly. Moses angrily smote the rock instead of speaking to it, and the Lord kept him from entering Canaan (Num 20:7-13). Anger moved Saul to try to kill his own faithful son Jonathan (I Sam 20:30-34).

Not all anger is wrong, as Jesus only condemned anger “without a cause” (Matt 5:21-22). Of course, modern Bible versions, following their contemporary, effeminate brand of Christianity, have omitted these words in order to condemn all anger. By so doing they have indicted God, Jesus Christ, and holy prophets, apostles, and saints as sinners!

Paul further clarified this important point, as he explained, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Eph 4:26). When anger does occur, you cannot let it cause you to sin; and anger should not be allowed to fester and turn into bitterness. The matter of provocation should be dealt with righteously and brought to a quick end.

Fools are quick to get angry, for no right reason, and they let their anger boil. It is presently known – it is quickly visible in their faces and obvious in their speech. They prove they are fools by not restraining their passions. Wise men restrain their spirits and control their reactions to any situation. Fools react without thinking; wise men think before reacting. Fools are controlled by their anger; wise men control their anger.

Here is the important lesson of the proverb. A prudent man will think first and avoid the shame of hasty anger causing him to act foolishly (Eccl 7:9). The purpose of Proverbs is to teach you wisdom for success in life – and you will never be successful, if you do not learn to control and rule your passions, especially wrath, anger, and envy (Pr 27:4).

The difference between men that control their emotions and those that do not is very great. Solomon honored that difference by exalting the self-controlled man as a mighty man of valor and military conqueror (Pr 16:32). He also warned that angry men were vulnerable to any adversity and would be easily destroyed in their endeavors (Pr 25:28).

Another lesson, though not taught here directly, is that a wise man avoids angry men, lest he get a snare to his soul (Pr 22:24-25). If you associate with those who do not rule their spirits and tempers, you will pick up their perverse habits (Pr 13:20; I Cor 15:33). If you once had self-control and composure, you will lose it, and you will begin to fail in life.

Reader, rule your spirit; do not let it rule you. “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (Jas 1:20). It is impossible to be the child of God you should be, if you let anger burst from your heart and bring you to shame. There is no glory in anger and strife, regardless of how your flesh, the world, or Satan lies to you (Jas 3:14-16).

World class athletes control and rule all desires and passions in their diligent pursuit of championships (I Cor 9:24-25). It is called temperance. They know that to be the best requires denying impulses to eat, sleep, alter training, or take a day off. If you want to win the incorruptible crown of Jesus Christ, you must also deny yourself (I Cor 9:26-27).