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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:11

Proverbs 29:11

"A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back"

This is a proverb about the impulsiveness of a fool. There is a consistent flying off the handle; an inability to keep one's emotions in check.

Anger is usually triggered by unmet expectations. Something did not go the way you planned or wanted. Your disappointment can become rage.

a fool always loses his temper


This is the word kesil and would suggest poor choices. In fact, in many cases this fool does not even know that there can be a choice about not letting themselves be angry.

The actual phrase in the Hebrew states that the fool always sends forth all of his spirit. There is no governor on the emotions and interior aspects of the fool. Both the wise man and the fool have strong feelings, thoughts, and reactions. The wise man has an ability to control when he goes out.

The Septuagint translates the second half of this verse but the wise man has a controller or pay master over their soul.

Now our culture has understood losing one's temper as dealing with anger but this is not the only way one sends out all their soul. It could be through a number of ways: crying, moaning, anger, wailing, depression, etc.

The obvious question regarding this verse is: Are you able to hold back your soul from being spilled out every time you are disappointed or blocked? Do you fall to pieces, get angry, moan, etc.

The wise person has learned to have control over the interior part of their life. They do not automatically assume that life will go their way. They are part of a larger world in which God and others change their plans. They have learned to live in the real world not the self-focused, make-believe world of the fool. "I should always get what I want" is the world of a child full of temper tantrums and fits.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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