Is physical strength supreme? What are the characteristics of ‘strength’ according to God? The answer can be found in Proverbs Chapter 16, verse 32 and reveals who truly is the stronger man.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
In our culture, we have a skewed sense of what is true strength. Many today consider an athlete a strong person. But physical ability is a nothing compared to the ability to control one’s own anger. Countless numbers of athletic men (and women) have surrendered their careers to their inability to control detrimental tendencies in their personality.
What is true strength? In this scripture we see that a person who is slow to anger and one who can rule their own spirit is better than one who is considered mighty or one who conquers a city.
Now think about that. The next time rage wells within you because of something done or said, God says you are stronger than the US Army if you control your anger and not allow it to scorch everything or everyone around you. The highest ranking, most decorated military man of all time will have nothing on you if you are “…slow to anger…” and “….rule your spirit…”
Notice what God doesn’t say here. He doesn’t state this about someone who NEVER becomes angry. There is a righteous type of anger. What is stated here is about someone who is SLOW to anger. A person slow to anger is a patient person, one who does not react without thinking and perhaps one who knows his own sinful tendencies and makes allowances for others.
Perhaps the most important key in this daily proverb is that God knows what it takes for you and me to control our angry outburst. He knows the overwhelming urge to react and what it takes to overcome it. He Himself faced such a temptation to react in anger. He chose to say
“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’
It surely takes a great deal more strength to control your temper than to release it on the world. The next time you are tempted to react in anger, remember those words and become a truly strong person.