February 2019 – Slow To Anger
Read Together: “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29
Playing in and coaching Division 1 college football as a defensive lineman didn’t exactly give me a passive personality. Every time the center would snap the ball to the quarterback, I was tin the middle of a major gang war! If I didn’t move quickly and take the fight to the offensive lineman who was trying to demolish me, I would get run over by a stampede of wild horses. I learned to fight and to fight hard.
That was on the football field!
Off the football field was a different story. Last year I spoke at a college event at the University of Colorado where I built a 14-foot cross in front of several hundred college students and shared with them God’s amazing gift of love and grace. Hundreds responded to the invitation and gave their hearts to Christ. But one student was outraged! As I leaned against the side wall of the theater, listening to the band play praise and worship music, he approached me in a fury. He got in my face and called me every dirty word ever written on a bathroom wall!
Yeah, I probably could have taken him to the floor. Yeah, he probably deserved it. Yeah, something inside of me would have enjoyed making him eat his words. Yeah, once upon a time, years ago, I probably would have taken issue with him. But when I left football and grew up a little, I left it all on the field. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for them.” Jesus said, “Be slow to anger.” Jesus said, “Be patient with people.” Jesus said, “Vengeance belongs to God.” As the students’ stormed out of the theater, I prayed for him and still pray for him today, that someday our paths will cross again-hopefully in heaven when his anger will be calmed forever.
Discussion Starters: Name three people who “provoke you to anger.” Compare how you want to react with how you really react. Compare your reaction to the way God wants you to react? In reality, why is God’s way best? Why is it best to be “slow to anger?” What does today’s verse mean when it says those who are slow to anger have “great understanding?” What do they understand?
Lifeline: Ask God to give you the understanding needed to keep your anger in check.
Blessings Always, (Numbers 6:24-26)
Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III.