Keeping Your Vex in Check (Proverbs 12:16)

Proverbs 12:16


The vexation of a fool is known at once,

but the prudent ignores an insult.


            How is your temperament when hurt or insulted?  When you are vexed, when you become angry with someone for some reason, how do you react?  Does your anger flash out quickly?  Do people know the instant you are perturbed?  If so, look at the words of Proverbs 12.  God says to us that, if we are the kind of people whose tempers flare up and are instantly visible, we are acting like fools.  


            Remember also that the proverbs constantly talk about the fool as the person who says in his or her own heart that there is no God.  Thus, for us to allow our tempers to flare immediately is for us to act like the godless.  When we cannot hold our anger in check, not even for a moment, we show that we lack trust that God is there and that God will handle the situation.  We say with our flashing anger that we are the deity, that we are the ones most offended, and that it is our justice that must be served.  However, none of those thoughts are true.  God is God; we are not.  God is the one whose justice will always be satisfied in the end.  God is the one who is always most insulted when wrong is committed. 


            Ponder the proverb the next time you are tempted to fly off the handle.  When you lose your grip on your anger, you act like one who believes there is no God.  However, when you look at your circumstances through a lens that tells you that God is in control, your emotions will remain under control.


            Let me say that this is not easy.  I need this advice for myself as much as anyone does.  Though I’m not one whose anger flashes easily, I am one whose emotions—self pity, doubt, discouragement—can grab my heart far too quickly.  Only if I remember God is in control will I have a proper grip on myself.