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Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:22


"An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression"

angry

This is the Hebrew word aph, which is a standard word for anger, nostril, face. It has the idea of the flair of the nostril signaling anger. Anger is a usually a selfish expression of the fact that your expectations were not met by someone or something. Your inability to contain your disappointment or irritation means that you are used to getting your way in that area. It is the expectation of having things the way you want them that causes you to become angry.

strife

This is the Hebrew word madon, which means strife, contention. Two or more people have different expectations and this difference has broken out into open disagreement.

Why does being angry produce strife? It is the selfish expression of your displeasure at not getting your way with the idea that you will force others to bend to your will lest they have to face this wrath again. So consistent anger means that you want your way and are willing to trample over others to get it. Other people would also like to get their way and when someone bullies their way to getting what they want through anger, then it produces people who are upset and willing to fight over those issues.

Everyone wants their way. And unless one can reason these things through or respect authority, everyone's selfish desires are irresolvable in community with the person who is strongest or most angry or most ruthless always winning.

hot-tempered

This is the Hebrew word chermah, which means heat or rage. It is another word for anger and wrath or hot displeasure. It is a stronger form of anger than the previous word.

The idea here is that angry people who are used to selfish expressions of their displeasure over not getting their own way do not just cause strife, but they also multiply other sins. You cannot be so selfish that you are used to spewing anger all around when you don't get your way and not have either the anger or your belief that you should always get your way draw you into lots of sins.

transgression

This is the Hebrew word pesha, which means transgression, breach of trust. The idea is clearly violations of morality and trust. The angry person is one who is used to getting what they want even if what they want they should not have. So it is this driven selfishness that is the characteristic of the angry person. They are not flexible and reasonable – they want what they want. So they pursue what they want to greater lengths than others might go.

Solomon is saying: Know these things about the angry person. Even though it may not be showing, know these things. They stir up arguments, quarrels, and strife. They have transgressed in a number of other areas.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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