Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV

Listen to Words from the Heart

Provoked

During the Boer War in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century, as part of the Imperial forces, Canadian forces burned Boer houses and farms and moved civilians to internment camps. The camps were filthy and it is estimated that some 28,000 prisoners died of disease, most of them women, children and black workers. Civilian deaths provoked outrage in Britain and in Canada. 267 Canadians were killed in fighting in the Boer War and are listed in Canada’s Books of Remembrance.

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We all know people who have an explosive temper. You never know what will set them off, but one word can cause them to blow up – and make life difficult for anyone who happens to be within range. These people get a reputation and others do their best to avoid them. Often those with anger issues have no idea why people don’t want to befriend them, and this just makes their anger worse. Wise King Solomon noticed this in his day as well – I can only imagine how often he was the focus of people’s anger – leaders usually are. So in Ecclesiastes 7:9 we read “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” Listen carefully to what Solomon is saying. Those who have an explosive anger need to understand the buttons in their lives that people can push that cause the explosion. That’s what Solomon means when he tells them no to be quickly provoked in their spirit. When provoked, they need to be able to say, “That’s a button – I am not going to respond in anger. It would be foolish to do so.” If this is you – Jesus will help.

These have been words from the heart.
Bob Beasley