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8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 9 Do not be quick in spirit to be angry or vexed, for anger and vexation lodge in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7: 8-9 AMPC
19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. 20 For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires]. James 1: 19-20 AMPC
Sometimes it feels good to be angry. Especially when we’re convinced we’re right. It’s nice to hold on to it for a while. To fan the flames with our words and thoughts. To make sure it doesn’t die down too quickly. To make sure we don’t back down. We tell ourselves, “This time I’ll put my foot down and make my voice heard”. When what we really mean is, “This time I choose to keep my anger rather than release it”. And make no mistake. It is a choice. To keep your emotions as heightened as they were when the offensive act took place, requires effort. But before that, a choice. A decision not to let go.
The end of a thing is better than the beginning. God is trying to tell us that things usually end up better than they started. That the situation will improve. That things will turn out alright in the end. Getting to the end takes patience. Patience requires vision. The ability to see the big picture. Patience keeps the end game in mind, keeps the goal in its sights, and acts accordingly. It is usually pride that drives us to hold on to anger.
“How dare she?!”
“Im not going to just let them do this to me!”
“I deserve better!”
Pride keeps us drinking the wine of resentment at our pity party gone haywire. Pride moves us to replay the incident over and over in our minds and to rehearse everything we felt. It keeps the anger fresh and raw, with no promise of healing.
Patience can see clearly that the end will be better. But prideful anger is short-sighted, blinded by rage and self-righteousness. Pride wants results right away. While patience can allow the story to unfold into a brighter future. Patience allows the other person to see the err of their ways in time. While pride beats them over the head with their wrong.
Patience steps aside to allow God to take control of a situation. While anger and pride seek to control with fear and manipulation. Patience is mentioned in the Bible as the virtue of the wise. While anger and pride are often called the marks of a fool that lead to destruction.
The Bible says that anger can lodge in the bosom of fools. When we hold on to our anger rather than releasing it, it becomes lodged…stuck in our hearts. It becomes embedded in our hearts and implanted into our souls. When we try to praise God, we choke, and complaints come out instead. Anger chokes our praise.
God is cautioning us that the longer we let our anger fester, the harder it is to get it out of our hearts. The more difficult it is to let it go. The anger implant becomes grafted into the tissue of our hearts, burying itself, joining itself to our hearts until it begins to grow. What was once a bud grows into an uncontrollable vine which spreads and sucks the life and joy out of everything it touches.
Only a fool would hold onto anger, clutching it to her bosom, and miss out on the plot twist God has in store. The end will be better. But will you allow wisdom to prevail and patience to guide you to that better end?
Anger doesn’t engender the righteousness of God. Even Jesus in His absolute RIGHTEOUSNESS was humble to the point of dying on a cross! Patient to the point of praying for His persecutors. And none of us will ever be more justified than Jesus to hold a grudge. Yet He did not.
Be very slow to get angry or to take offense. And if it does happen, remember that things will end better than they started. IT WILL GET BETTER. You may not know how or when, but ask God for the wisdom to remain patient and hopeful in affliction. When you reach the end and see what God had in store, you’ll be glad you did.