At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
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
In this proverb, we learn two important things at the same time. The first is that anger is a big deal. Having a bad temper is not a bagatelle, not a trifle. The second thing we learn is that we have authority over the friendships we make. Let’s consider these things in turn.
First, anger is like a fire in the attic. You don’t want that in your house at all, not even a little bit. “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression” (Proverbs 29:22). A lot of damage follows in the train of anger. And because the ancient proverb is true—that anger is a brief madness—the damage that is done is often senseless, demented, and irrational. Anger destroys, and it frequently destroys things that it had no intention of destroying.
If a man is given to anger, it does no good for him to say, after the fact, that the results were not what he wanted. This is like setting that fire in the attic and saying afterwards that you never intended for the whole house to burn.
But notice that the injunction given in this proverb is that we are to avoid friendships with men who have this problem. Christians are supposed to love everyone, including their enemies, but we are not supposed to be friends with everyone. Scripture forbids being friends with certain kinds of people. Bad companions corrupt good morals (1 Cor. 15:33).
We should be friendly toward all. So when you happen to sit next to an angry man on a plane, sure, go ahead. Have a friendly demeanor. But you are not supposed to settle into a friendship with such a man, and why? The “evangelism” will go the wrong way. You stand a better chance of becoming like him than he stands of becoming like you.