Good morning!! Been reading Proverbs lately, and came across these verses. Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul. Two simple verses from 3000 years ago that can speak directly to us in our lives today. Anger, rage, is contagious. If we hang around people who are angry, we will become angry. Myself in my own life, at home or at work, find it easy to get sucked in to someone else’s anger, someone else’s insult. I find myself quickly commiserating with the angry person and now I, too, am angry. Angry about what I don’t always know, I just know that my blood pressure is a couple of points higher than it was 2 minutes ago and it’s somebody else’s fault! This person has done something wrong to me.
Except they haven’t. They probably haven’t even done anything wrong to my angry friend. Except now it’s not just my angry friend, it’s my angry friend and angry me. And the person we’re both angry at doesn’t even know my friend is angry, much less me. What a waste of time and energy.
This is how scapegoating begins. My friend was angry, now I’m angry, soon we can have a whole angry crowd. These days we all have angry friends 24 hours a day, all we have to do turn on our TVs, or participate in the angry text chain going around. How hard is it to surround ourselves with an angry crowd? Our entire political system is based on one angry, frightened crowd vs another angry, frightened crowd. For that matter, our whole society is based on that us vs them mentality.
But don’t we all have a right to our anger? Aren’t we supposed to fight for our rights, to be angry this happened to us, to fight to get what I deserve? Sure, if you’re living for this world. But if you don’t want to endanger your soul, you need to remember these words of Jesus –
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:7-10 NLT
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Luke 9:24 NLT
And one more time…
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:26 NLT
“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.”
Proverbs 22:24-25 NLT