Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11, ESV)

Recently, two men did not end up quite where they planned to go that day, and I’m positive neither was happy about his interrupted plans. While I wasn’t there to view their dilemma, I imagine each man blamed the other for his predicament.

Here is the short version of what happened that day. Both men boarded an airplane bound for Las Vegas and were seated next to each other. Both fully expected to reach his destination in a short while. Neither did. The police removed both men from the plane, and they were left behind. Terrorists? No. Criminals escaping justice? No. Drunk? Probably not. Then why did the pilot return to the gate and have police remove them from the aircraft? The men had traded angry blows over the armrest. Yes, you read that correctly. While other passengers watched, they fought over who got the armrest.

Anger Is Destructive

We live in an angry world, and it seems to grow worse each day. In the case above, both men probably had a short fuse. Many times, however, the innocent bystander bears the brunt of the fury spewing out. We may try to shrug off our bad behavior by saying, “That’s just the way I’m made” or “I was just standing up for my rights.” Truth is, uncontrolled anger is destructive and leaves behind many hurts. Proverbs 29:11 tells us, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (ESV). It’s not always easy, but the wise person responds to difficult situations in a calm, cool, controlled manner.

We all experience things that cause feelings of anger to rise within our spirit. Injustices, seeing others mistreated, and wickedness should upset us. Even the Lord became angry at the hypocrisy and disregard for things holy by those of His day. However, He was angry for the right reasons at the right times. His was righteous indignation, not pettiness.

Sometimes, we become the target of the another’s rancor. It’s personal. Even in that situation, our feelings of anger are not the sin; but how we respond to those feelings can become sin. That is why the Bible tells us, “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32, ESV). Self-control—ruling our spirit—allows us to respond correctly rather than becoming a boiling cauldron of spewing emotion. We control our spirit; we don’t allow our spirit to control us.

Love Is the Remedy

Is there an answer—a remedy—to the rage that fills so many today? After thinking about that question for a while, I realized the answer is simple. It is love! With love we can overcome every offence.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast;

it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

(I Corinthians 13:4-7, ESV)

Yes, we may still see the road rage of other drivers. We may endure harsh, angry words thrown at us when we are innocent of wrongdoing. We may observe injustices and wickedness around us. But remember—when others lose control, we will endure because we choose to love. We choose to overlook offenses so that our spirit will be at peace. We choose to rule our spirit as we strive to be more like the Lord.


Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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