Proverbs 22:24-25 — 24 Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. 25 Bad temper is contagious—don’t get infected (MSG).
Another version reads: “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul” (NLT). Everyone gets angry, even Jesus did. You can read the account of Him turning over the tables and chairs of the money changers in Matthew 21. What we need to understand, though, is there is a distinct difference between getting angry and being an angry person.
The second principle you need to live by is don’t hang out with angry people (hotheads). God does not expect us to avoid people who get angry. If He did, then we would have to go into isolation. We could not associate with anyone because, as I mentioned before, everyone gets angry.
The word angry is an adjective. Adjectives characterize people and things. When an adjective is attached to the name of a person or thing, that person or thing is then defined by the qualities of that adjective. In other words, an angry person will produce fruit characterized by anger. You need to be able to recognize such fruit in others and in yourself. Allow me to help.
Angry people lack self-control in their actions and words. They are typically very harsh and unforgiving toward others. They have routine outbursts and vent their frustrations inappropriately (Proverbs 29:11). Their foolishness is habitual, and they generally make decisions they later regret (Ecclesiastes 7:9).
I do not believe God’s desire is for you to completely cancel the relationships you have with angry people. The truth is they need to be influenced by the love of God in your life, but be careful. Your inner circle of friends should not include hotheads. The Bible teaches anger can be learned. Avoid that lesson.
Proverbs 14:29 — He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly (NASB).
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