At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; And he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city”Proverbs 16:32
The Scriptures do not teach that anger is necessarily a sin. But for us, steeped in sin, anger that operates on a hair trigger, anger that is sharp and sudden, anger that erupts in a flash, is almost certainly sin.
Paul says in Ephesians that we are to “be angry, and sin not” (Eph. 4:26). He says this, quoting from the Psalms (Ps. 4:4).
One of the ways we avoid sinning in our anger is by making a point to walk toward the occasions of anger slowly. A godly man is not one who is never angry. He is one who is slow to anger. We are told this by the Lord’s own brother. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). He says “slow to wrath.” He immediately adds that the wrath of man does not bring about the righteousness of God (Jas. 1:20). What this means is that the wrath of man is sudden and impulsive.
An angry man stirs up trouble and strife, but a man slow to anger appeases strife (Prov. 15:18).
When we set ourselves to learn what it means to be slow to anger, we are imitating God Himself. God is slow to anger, and plentiful in mercy (Ps. 103:8).
God is slow to anger, and is gracious, full of compassion (Ps. 145:8).
God is slow to anger, ready to pardon (Neh. 9:17).
As we set ourselves to the task of learning this, our proverb teaches us that a man who can govern his own temper is greater than a mighty warrior. A man who can accomplish this feat of self-conquest is greater than a man who conquers a city. It is the true test.