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Be Heroic: Cultivate Self-Control
Proverbs 16:32 Solomon’s wisdom shows us the advantage of patience and self-control
“Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.”
Proverbs 16:32 NLT
Happy Wednesday! We’re back to the wisdom of King Solomon in Proverbs, and I was thrilled to see that God pointed me to Proverbs 16 today. This chapter alone has been the source for several of my devotionals, one in just the past few weeks.
Imagine King Solomon pondering the other kings and warriors of his time. Many of his contemporaries were quite powerful, slaying hundreds in battles and taking victory. But Solomon knew that there was something greater than a mighty man or woman — a person with control over their anger. Someone with self-control who wouldn’t immediately fly into a killing rage might be able to reason with a foe and avoid a costly battle (in terms of lives and resources) altogether.
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Bible commentator Matthew Poole1 listed three reasons why a person who conquers his own angry spirit was better than one who could conquer cities:
He conquers though he fights a stronger enemy.
He conquers by his own hands, and not through other people.
He conquers without the injury and ruin of others
Another commentator, G. Campbell Morgan2, expounded on this proverb with these words:
“This is a proverb that is constantly quoted, and very little believed. If men only recognized that there is more valor and heroism in self-control than in doughty deeds which others acclaim in song and story, how different our world would be.”
Be heroic: cultivate self-control.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
God, I pray for help from You to overcome anger, for whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty and powerful. I pray for Your strength in myself to not be angry in ways that harm others and dishonor You. In my relationships with others, help me to be patient, kind, forgiving and self-controlled. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.
Poole, Matthew "A Commentary on the Holy Bible" Volume 2 (Psalms-Malachi) (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1968)
Morgan, G. Campbell "Searchlights from the Word" (New York: Revell, 1926)