Proverbs 12:16 – Don’t be an angry fool!

angry-faceWe return to what may be the most prevalent theme in Solomon’s proverbs—the contrast between the fool and a wise man.   We noted in an earlier devotional from Proverbs 12 that the distinctive trait of a wise man is his openness to counsel, while a fool is proud and unteachable (12:15).

A second contrast between a fool and a wise man is found in Proverbs 12:16.

Proverbs 12:16 – “A fool’s wrath [anger; indignation] is presently known [discovered; exposed]: but a prudent [cunning; subtle; crafty] man covereth [hides; conceals; willing to forgive] shame [dishonor; disgrace].”

A fool will not, some might argue cannot, hold his anger.  He is explosive, unpredictable and easily provoked.  In contrast, a wise man tempers his words and moderates his response to the failures and offenses of others. Angry outburst While a fool’s wrath is often a cause of shame for himself and his loved ones; the wise man, mindful of his own faults and failures (Galatians 6:1), is moved to patience and kindness.

I close with words of wisdom from the apostle Paul to the believers in Ephesus:

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith