Proverbs 19:19 (ESV) “A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.”

This is another Proverb where it is easy to look outward instead of having an inward look. You can identify the people with great irrational wrath. The idiot you saw on the road who was driving like a maniac because he was unhappy with another driver or all drivers. But like most proverbs, an inward evaluation is a prudent step in your meditation.

There are certainly times when it is appropriate to be angry. God tells us to have the right kind of anger. We should be angry when someone ruthlessly attacks a defenseless child. In Ephesians 4:26-32 the passage starts with “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” It then concludes with verses 31-32 which say, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

The right response to the things that may cause me to be angry is to be careful about my anger. I need to think about the motivation of my anger. Far too often my anger is wrapped up in me and what is fair or just for me. It isn’t righteous anger, but it is selfish anger. The proper way to walk in life is to be angry for just purposes, but then be ready to be forgiving and tenderhearted towards others. The reason is very simple: I need to display grace because I receive grace from God. I need to be forgiving because I have been forgiven.

It is wise to help someone if they have an anger outburst. However, if you try to fix things for the perpetual hot-head, you will not be helping him. He needs to bear the consequences of his wrathful approach to life and relationships. Sometimes the man of “great wrath” needs to lose the things that he counts dear before he comes to his senses and realizes that his great wrath is really just selfish and childish.

Here are some other related proverbs on this topic:

Proverbs 22:24 (ESV) “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”

Proverbs 29:22 “A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.”