Proverbs 19:2 – It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.
What does it mean “to have zeal without knowledge”? To be excited about something before you have all the information. It’s the same thing as being hasty, too quick to do something or to make a decision, before you have all the facts you need.
Has being hasty ever caused you to make a mistake?
If you make a decision too quickly, you’ll probably end up making the wrong decision. So rather than rushing into action or jumping to conclusions, this verse is saying that we should try to have a little more patience, try to slow down a little, and find out the best way to do something or to deal with a situation.
Today, I want us to talk about having patience with difficult people, instead of being too hasty with them and losing our temper.
Proverbs 27:3 – Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both.
What does it mean to say that “provocation by a fool is heavier than both” stone and sand? This verse is saying that, whereas one can carry stones and sand, it is much harder to bear being provoked by someone. If someone is irritating us, it’s really hard not to lose our temper with them. God knows that. But God also knows that losing our temper with someone is not the best way to deal with someone.
Proverbs 15:18 – A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
What happens when we lose our temper with someone? We lose our temper and then they lose their temper and the fight just gets worse.
Can you think of a time when you got angry and made the situation worse?
But a patient man calms a quarrel. Can you think of a time when being patient helped solve the situation?
If we get angry, the problem just escalates, but if we remain calm and exercise our patience, then that will also help others to calm down. As Christians, we are called to bring peace and to help solve problems in the best possible way, which can only be done by remaining calm.
Proverbs 19:11 – A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Instead of getting angry about something, what is this verse saying we should do? Overlook the offense. Ignore it. Don’t worry about it. Just move on with your life.
Most stupid things that people do to you aren’t worth getting upset about. And if we can overlook those things, if we can ignore and forget about them instead of arguing or fighting about it or losing our temper and making the situation worse, then it will be to our glory. We will be the person taking the higher road.
Proverbs 20:22 – Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.