Monday, September 21, 2015

Proverbs 22:24-25 -- On the Influence of Anger

"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."
Proverbs 22:24-25

God doesn't usually tell us not to be friends with people, so I thought this was interesting.  I don't think that it invalidates the whole love your neighbors thing at all, but it is something to think about.  Maybe sometimes we need to love at a distance.  It doesn't say to hate angry people or not to have compassion on them, of course, but it does say not to hang out with them in case we start adopting their attitude.
The interesting thing to me about all of this is that we all get angry sometimes, and so we all could fall under this warning at different times... so I think that it is a good warning from both sides.  It tells us that anger is not a good thing to use in friendship-building.  Maybe shared anger or hatred isn't enough to forge something good or lasting... we need more, and we need to get our heads on straight so that we don't influence other people negatively.
Today, let's be careful of anger, both from other people and from ourselves.  Let's take some time and figure things out and cool down before we interact with or influence other people under the influence of that emotion.  If it is the kind of anger that sticks around and doesn't evaporate quickly, let's take it to the Lord and ask him to help us find a way to let it go.  Not saying it is easy... but it is important that we clear that negative influence out of our hearts and minds.

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