Heart Check - Proverbs 14:29March 21, 2013
Put yourself in some of these scenarios you might come across in hockey:
- In a big game, the refs seem to be missing all the calls. You are getting frustrated being hooked and hacked constantly
- You have trained all summer to make the team. Tryouts come and you are left in the cold.
- Your son or daughter is not getting the playing time you think they deserve while others play a ton. Your heart boils watching game after game.
- You are sitting in traffic on your way to the game as time slowly ticks away before puck drop. You still have to get there to help Jr. get dressed and get on the ice. Things are not looking good.
- Coach has been yelling at you all season. You are at your wits end and just want to explode.
We are sure there are millions more scenarios in your life as a hockey parent, player, or even fan. Situations where you just feel yourself getting so mad, so angry. It is often easy to yell and throw a temper tantrum. It would feel so good to slam your stick, yell at the ref to get his head in the game, or tell your coach you quit. For the parents out there, maybe it would feel so freeing to let the coach have a piece of your mind, or maybe lay on the horn in the middle of traffic.Just a quick outburst would calm you down and it just might solve something. Well, unfortunately, this is usually not how things work. The short term satisfaction never really leads to long term joy. The Bible says this kind of reaction leads to folly. Let's read Proverbs 14:29.Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.This short little verse speaks volumes of truth. We are going to look at 3 simple points:
1. What to do - Be Slow to AngerA person who is slow to anger is someone who is reflecting God's character to the world. Exodus 34:6 tells us God is "slow to anger" and abounding in steadfast love. It's not easy to be patient when things aren't really going well in our lives. It's really not easy to be slow to anger when we think we are being treated unfairly. But, when you think about the way God deals with us, you begin to understand the importance of being "slow to anger". God has every reason to deal with us with a swift anger for our sins against him. He has every right to be angry, but instead, he is patient. He even goes beyond patience and demonstrates love in sending a substitute for our sins. This is our example. When your blood boils remember what God has already done and will continue to do for us in Christ.....Be Slow to Anger
2. What not to do - Don't be Hasty in Temper
This is pretty easy actually. It is just the opposite of the above point. Sometimes, however, people respond differently to different presentations of similar truth. This is what makes Proverbs really cool in a lot of places. They often give both the positive and negative statements for us to think about. Many times, the different perspective will speak to us in fresh ways depending on when, how, and at what point in our lives we read it. So, you need to be both slow to anger and refrain from a hasty temper.
3. Why - Understanding and FollyFinally, we get to the heart of the matter. Why would you bother to do and not do the 2 things above? Proverbs 14:29 lays it right out for you. The first reason is we will gain understanding, and not just any understanding, but GREAT understanding. There is something to be said about standing in a difficult situation and taking the time to learn about what can be learned. Perhaps, you may be able to begin to see where you may be weak when it comes to certain sins by patiently working through a situation. You gain a great understanding of your own heart and how you can be a Christian example in difficult times.
On the flip side, we prevent the end result of Folly that comes along with a quick temper. We would venture to guess everybody playing the game of hockey would love to have a certain instance rewinded and redone all over again. Nobody likes to make a fool of themselves. Controlling our temper is one way to make sure this doesn't happen that often.
- Examine your heart. What kind of things make you angry?
- How have you been handling situations that make you angry lately?
- Do you need to apologize to anyone from a past angry outburst?