Fools in Fellowship

The Angrys

Meet Mr Short-fuse

He seems to be a very angry sort of man and one who can fly off the handle at any moment and for no obvious reason. Now it is not sinful to be angry. ‘Be ye angry and sin not’ means it is possible to be angry without sinning from time to time, Eph. 4. 26. It is right to get angry, provided it is for the right reasons and provided it does not take us over. God is angry, Num. 11. 1 & 10, and the Lord Jesus was angry too, Mark 3. 5. But God and the Lord is justifiably angry with the wicked sinfulness of people. The problem is that we are often angry for sinful, selfish reasons, and we are often sinful in the way in which we express that anger.

Mr Short-fuse, however, is very easily annoyed, and that is not good. ‘He that is soon angry dealeth falsely (acts foolishly), Prov. 14.17. ‘Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools’, Eccl. 7. 9. Not only is it foolish to be easily angered, it is also sinful. ‘A furious man (one who is ‘soon angry’) aboundeth in transgression’, Prov. 29.22. The problem is that anger can take over and can easily control us when we ought to control it, Prov. 27. 4. That is why the Bible commends those who keep control of themselves at all times. ‘He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly’, Prov. 14. 29; ‘he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit’, instead of letting it rule him, is better than ‘he that taketh a city’, Prov. 16. 32. One of the characteristics of the sinful nature is anger, Gal. 5. 20. We are advised, therefore, to ‘put off anger and wrath’, Col. 3. 8, Eph. 4. 31 and to be ‘slow to wrath’, Jms. 1. 19. We should not bear grudges, Eph. 4. 26. In fact, one of the evidences of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a believer is that he or she is self controlled, patient and gentle, Gal. 5. 22-23.

Mr Short-fuse causes trouble. ‘An angry man (one who is ‘soon angry’) stirs up strife, Prov.29. 22. He is best avoided, if that is possible. ‘Make no friendship with an angry man and with a furious man thou shalt not go’, Prov.22. 24. Why? ‘Lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy soul’. The meaning behind the word for ‘soon angry’ or ‘furious’ is ‘nostril’. You can see the picture easily – it is like looking into the face of an angry horse, with its nostrils flared and furious. Anyone who is often angry like this has lost control. Keep your temper under control and you won’t be one of the Short fuses. And if you know someone who is a Short fuse, keep your distance. In other words, do not follow his lead and become like him. Steer clear of him and you will steer clear of trouble.