Proverbs 15:18

Wrath

Introduction:

1. This proverb states that the man (woman or young person) that is full of wrath causes trouble wherever they go.

2. In particular, they stir up STRIFE.

3. But the one who controls his anger has the power to bring about peace.

4. The power to start a fire or to put out a fire in relationships with other people lies within the breast of man.

18a A wrathful man stirreth up strife:

A. Wrathful Defined

1. Strong’s: heat; rage; hot displeasure; indignation; anger; wrath; venom; poison; (implying that uncontrolled anger is like injecting poison into a relationship).

2. It speaks of the he heat and burning feeling one can have when one is emotionally worked up and in strife and turmoil.

3. Wrath is often associated with FOLLY in Proverbs. Fools break out in anger. Wise men hold it in. Prov. 27:3, 4.

B. Stir Up Defined

1. Stir up; contend; meddle; strive; be stirred up; wage war against; excite oneself against; foment; provoke; meddle.

C. Strife

1. Uncontrolled wrath always results in strife… contention… fighting.

2. Prov. 30:33 – forcing wrath produces more strife—like continually blowing one’s nose results in a nosebleed.

3. Prov. 29:22—an angry man stirs up strife.

a. Trouble and contention follow this man around.

b. But he isn’t the poor innocent victim of circumstances. It’s his FAULT! His anger produces the strife and contention.

c. Wrath and anger produce strife; fighting—wherever they are manifested: home; school; work; neighborhoods; etc.

D. Consequences of Uncontrolled Wrath

1. Prov. 14:17 – He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

a. Solomon states that the angry man does FOOLISH things in his anger.
→ Anger causes us to do and say things that we would never do or say with a cool head.
→ And then you have to live with the aftermath.
→ Have YOU ever said something foolish when angry? Have you ever done anything stupid when angry? Then you are living proof of this proverb. (I am living proof too!)

b. Solomon suggests in the second part of this proverb that people end up HATING YOU because of the foolish things you do and say when anger takes over.
→ There are serious consequences to submitting to anger and letting it take over.
→ They may even HATE you as a result of your anger.
→ Angry men make a lot of enemies along the way.
→ You say and do foolish things. People won’t like you! You will gradually lose your friends. (Cf. Prov. 22:24 – wise people will stay away!)
→ Prov. 22:10 – Strife ceases when the source of the strife is removed.

1. When it is discovered that the SOURCE of all the strife in the office, or the church, or in a group of friends is YOUR ANGER… those folks may not want you around any more… and can you blame them?!

2. Get rid of the trouble maker—the one who will not control his anger—and the trouble ceases!

3. Before too long folks will begin to notice that when the hot head is not around, things are much more peaceful… more unity… a better atmosphere.

4. One hothead can really spoil the atmosphere in a local church, a home, an office, a classroom, a team, etc.

5. Don’t YOU be that hot head… because before too long, folks will notice that YOU are the source of their strife and will want you OUT of the picture.

c. Uncontrolled anger can RUIN relationships! It can turn people against you. It can cause people to hate you. It will make life miserable for you. It complicates life.
→ Hence, CONTROL your anger!
→ Why go through life having to continually put out fires… continually mending broken fences… continually trying to restore broken relationships… continually trying to put Humpty back together again!
→ It makes so much MORE sense, to put all that energy and effort into controlling one’s temper in the first place…
→ Preventing fires is much easier than putting them out.
→ An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
→ It only takes a moment to blow up and do and say something stupid. It could take the rest of the week to try to REVERSE the consequences of that anger.
→ It only takes a moment to blow up and hurt someone’s feelings. It could take a year to restore those feelings back to where they should be.
→ Rather than spending the rest of our days putting out fires in our personal relationships, work on preventing those fires from get started in the first place.

18b But he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

A. Slow to Anger

1. Defined: these two words combine to give the meaning of patience… a patient man… longsuffering… meekness… not short fused.

a. This attitude (longsuffering; patient; meek) will go a long way to reducing strife and friction in a relationship.

b. Ps. 103:8 – the Lord is slow to anger. We should be too.

2. Prov. 14:29 – the man who is slow to wrath is of GREAT understanding. That is wisdom in practice!

3. Prov. 19:11 – deferring anger is a sign of wisdom and discretion.

4. Prov. 16:32 – he is better… more powerful than a mighty warrior!

5. James 1:19 – we too are commanded to be slow to wrath.

a. God wants to spare us from all the heartache, broken relationships, and other problems that we bring upon ourselves by not controlling our tempers.

b. Of course, controlling one’s anger must be the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

c. On our own, we are helpless to control anger—try as we may! Anger just happens in the flesh!

d. Only by being filled with the Spirit will we control our anger. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control!

e. This means being absolutely YIELDED to the Lord… holding nothing back… surrendered so that God is able to work in us both to will and to DO of His good pleasure: that we be meek, mild, longsuffering, and patient—like the Lord Jesus.

f. If we are unyielded in one area, the result is the FLESH is in control… and flesh often manifests itself in anger. Therefore, be yielded in EVERY area, if we expect God’s power and victory in this one!

B. Appeaseth Strife

1. Appease Defined:

a. Strong’s: to be quiet; be tranquil; be at peace; be quiet; rest; lie still; be undisturbed; to produce tranquility.

b. To be at rest (Josh. 11:23 – the whole land rested from war.)

2. Not only does patience, meekness, and longsuffering PREVENT strife from arising, but once it does arise, this same quality will go a long way to appeasing it…

a. Appeasing anger is like putting water on a flame… like the balm in Gilead… a calming, soothing effect… bring rest where there was once war…

b. God would have the believer to be a peacemaker.

c. Rather than loving controversy and stirring up strife, we should seek to appease it… seek to put strife to rest…

d. We should endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3)

3. Prov. 15:1; – a soft answer turns away wrath.

a. It takes patience to reply with a soft answer when someone has just yelled at you and said some mighty unkind things about you!

b. Any idiot can start a fight… and any idiot can shout back.

c. But a man who is SLOW to anger (meek; mild mannered; patient) can turn wrath and strife away.

d. That man can END a fight. It takes a lot more wisdom, grace, patience, and inner strength to END a fight than it does to start one.

4. Ecc. 10:4 – yielding pacifieth great offences.

5. So often we assume that the way to end a fight or an argument is to WIN the fight or argument.

a. Solomon says the way to end strife is to control our spirit… our wrath…

b. A controlled spirit is able to control the atmosphere.

c. You don’t end an argument by demanding the right to have the last word. You end an argument by YIELDING.

d. A soft answer turns away wrath—not a loud, strong, counter attack.

e. Wrath is explosive, like gasoline. It won’t put out a fire, but will fuel the fire.

f. Water is not explosive. It is MILD compared to gasoline. The mild water will put out the flames and end the heat.

g. Meekness, yieldedness, longsuffering, and patience will cause the strife to cease.

h. The one who is patient—slow to anger—will APPEASE strife.

i. What a valuable and useful quality for the Spirit of God to develop in each one of us… till Christ be formed in you!