October 19, 2022 READING A PROVERB A DAY (PROVERBS 19) Bill Elliff on PROVERBS 19

Proverbs 19 New Living Translation

Proverbs 19New Living Translation

19 Better to be poor and honest
    than to be dishonest and a fool.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
    haste makes mistakes.

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness
    and then are angry at the Lord.

Wealth makes many “friends”;
    poverty drives them all away.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    nor will a liar escape.

Many seek favors from a ruler;
    everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!

The relatives of the poor despise them;
    how much more will their friends avoid them!
Though the poor plead with them,
    their friends are gone.

To acquire wisdom is to love yourself;
    people who cherish understanding will prosper.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and a liar will be destroyed.

10 It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury
    or for a slave to rule over princes!

11 Sensible people control their temper;
    they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

12 The king’s anger is like a lion’s roar,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13 A foolish child[a] is a calamity to a father;
    a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.

14 Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth,
    but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.

15 Lazy people sleep soundly,
    but idleness leaves them hungry.

16 Keep the commandments and keep your life;
    despising them leads to death.

17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—
    and he will repay you!

18 Discipline your children while there is hope.
    Otherwise you will ruin their lives.

19 Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty.
    If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.

20 Get all the advice and instruction you can,
    so you will be wise the rest of your life.

21 You can make many plans,
    but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

22 Loyalty makes a person attractive.
    It is better to be poor than dishonest.

23 Fear of the Lord leads to life,
    bringing security and protection from harm.

24 Lazy people take food in their hand
    but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

25 If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson;
    if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser.

26 Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother
    are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.

27 If you stop listening to instruction, my child,
    you will turn your back on knowledge.

28 A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice;
    the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.

29 Punishment is made for mockers,
    and the backs of fools are made to be beaten.

Proverbs 19

THE ENDLESS, DOWNWARDSPIRAL OF HARBORED HURT

July 19, 2019

THE ENDLESS, DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF HARBORED HURT

“A man of great anger will bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.” (Proverbs 19:19)

I lived for many years beside a very, very bitter man. The slightest issue would set him off. If any neighbor children’s ball went into his yard, he would cuss them out and often call the police. He was highly prejudiced and would often use racial slurs against my dear neighbors.

He probably called the police on us, for completely nonsensical issues, 30+ times during 8 years. I could list many, many sad stories. When I went to the police chief to let him know that we were not the ones creating the problem and causing our good policemen to have to take their time for such silly issues he replied, “Yea, we know that guy. Sadly, there’s one like that in every neighborhood, and we know them all.” What a legacy.

THE PENALTIES OF ANGER

I watched with growing pity and sorrow, the consequences mount in his life. He became known for his anger on our street. He was hated by almost everyone. His children rebelled and suffered terrible consequences. He and his wife fought constantly, even calling the police multiple times.

He lost his health, suffering a massive heart attack. His blood pressure was out the roof. He was fired from his job. Even his face was etched was the indelible lines of anger. I found out they had to move every few years because of the problems he created. He “bore the penalty” as Proverbs says, of his anger. And it happened again and again. Daily his anger exploded.

LEARNING ABOUT ANGER AND FORGIVENESS

I often thought that God allowed him in my life to teach me and my family how to forgive, for we had to exercise that trait over and over again. In that regard, it was a very valuable exercise for us. Our children learned much from this time, sadly. We saw the tragic results of anger gone awry. We learned that you cannot answer, what Proverbs calls a fool, with a reasonable answer. It is a waste of time. You must answer him “as his folly deserves.”

And, we realized that anger always comes from a deeper root. It is a symptom of harbored hurt. This poor man had a father and grandfather that were abusive, angry men. The sins of the fathers were being visited on multiple generations.

For this man to change, he would have needed a heart transformation brought by genuine conversion. He was a very, very “religious” man, often telling me that his brand of church contained the only true Christians who were going to heaven. I prayed for his salvation daily and shared the simple gospel with him when I could. Even though he moved away, I find myself continuing to pray for him that God would mercifully save and transform him before he dies.

THE POTENTIAL DANGER

All of us get hurt in life. It is not a matter of being hurt, but how you respond to hurt that determines whether or not you will become an angry person. Don’t let hurt harbor in your heart unchecked. You may think you are justified in your responses, but YOU are the one placed in a prison of unforgiveness. You will be the one who suffers the penalty. Instead of your life carrying the sweet fragrance of God’s forgiveness and grace, you will project the acidic odor of bitterness to every life you touch. It is an unmistakable smell.

Your anger accomplishes nothing but bondage for you and pain for those around you. If I learned anything from my angry neighbor, I learned that harboring hurt is not worth the price.

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 19:11-12

It’s been said that unjustified anger is like an acid that brings harm to anything it is poured on, including the very container it inhabits. If we can’t control our temper, we risk wrecking our lives and destroying our testimonies.

Proverbs 19:11 reveals God’s answer to anger. “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”

Scripture says sudden anger is to be controlled. When we feel it coming, we must confess it to God and keep it contained until we have a chance to consider it. 

Sinful anger is to be condemned; it is not a weakness, it is wickedness. It is anger without a cause rooted within us. It is centered on a person rather than on an offense. It refuses to forgive and let go.

Stubborn anger is to be conquered. Bitterness and wrath take over when we let the sun go down on our anger. We allow the devil access in our lives when we let anger rule over us.

We must recognize and repent of our anger and refuse the devil’s schemes to use our emotions against us. If we don’t control, condemn, and conquer anger, it will control, condemn, and conquer us.

But there’s a sanctified anger we are instructed to channel. It is not destructive to the soul, and it does not result in sin. We see it in Jesus in Mark 3, when He cleared the temple of malicious Pharisees and self-seeking merchants who were taking advantage of the poor. 

It is not only possible to possess righteous anger, but it is also expected. In fact, injustice ought to stir us and move us to act. Never once did Jesus retaliate when he was personally attacked and abused, even when He was crucified. Yet, Jesus was moved with righteous anger to act when He saw other people being attacked and abused.

Adrian Rogers said, “Sometimes anger is love’s clearest expression, but we need to be careful with it.”

If we want to follow the example of Jesus, we are instructed to get angry at the right time, for the right reason, against the right thing, in the right way.

Apply it to your life

Is there a sudden, sinful, stubborn anger in your life that is controlling you? Recognize it, repent of it and rebuke the enemy, so that you may live righteously and protect your testimony.

This message is a part of these audio series.
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