My Favorite Proverbs: Control your temper.
“A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame” (Prov. 12:16).
Humans are unique from one another in what tempts them to sin. What tempts one man may hold no appeal at all to another man. It behooves us to always remember, when degrading someone because of what tempts them, that we all live in the same world…a world in which all are tempted by the same Devil. I may not understand the temptation another person fights, but I can surely sympathize with it.
Remember what James said about temptation and how we’re all different: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).
For some, number the number one temptation is that of losing their tempers and saying or doing things that damage, even permanently. It would be a mistake to underestimate the challenge some have controlling their tempers. Sometimes growing up with outbursts of temper leaves a permanent impression that a child will never escape. James goes on to describe a life lived going from one problem to the next because of this sin: “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6).
Today’s proverb says that a “fools wrath is known at once,” which means he makes a habit of speaking his mind without ever pausing to think about the consequence. It’s so easy in a moment of frustration to use large and crushing words such as, “You always….”, or “You never…”, I hate everything about you,” or “My life would be so much happier if I didn’t have to be around you.”
I heard of a husband saying to his wife, “I always speak my mind. It may not be pleasant, but you always know where you stand with me. If I’m mad, I’m like a shotgun. There’s a big blast, but then I’m over it.” His wife responded, “You may be over it, but it always leaves this big hole in my chest.”
Do you live with someone whose greatest temptation to sin involves temper—someone who lives life from one problem to the next because of words ill-spoken? Is that someone you? Scripture anticipated this problem and offers us insight. Today, take some time to meditate on our proverb about temper. Be sure to add the ones below, and then spend time in prayer for strength to control yourself when you are stressed and angry.
He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction (Prov. 13:3).
He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly (Prov. 14:29).
A soft answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1).
Bible Time With Glenn and Cindy
The text for our Bible time tonight is 2 Samuel 11:26-27.
When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when her mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
The deed was done. Lust had turned to adultery. Deceit and murder followed and now there’s no going back. No setting it right. As this passage, in so many words states, David and Bathsheba moved on. Bathsheba mourned and then married the adulterous partner and moved into the palace with David, awaiting the birth of their baby. But the last phrase of this chapter is the most important commentary on the events that precede it:
The thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
That’s the phrase for our study tonight.
- After reviewing the story up to this point by asking your children questions, emphasize to them that this last phrase of chapter 11 is pivotal. Whatever thing we may do, in this life, cannot be a good thing if it is a thing that displeases the Lord. Think with them about how this is illustrated in this chapter of David’s life.
a. Have your children recall if they have ever moved into a new house. Remind them, if so, how busy and exciting that time is–when they see everything new and all the boxes have to be unpacked. Bathsheba is moving into a beautiful new house–the palace! Do you think it is a fun and exciting time for her? Make your children understand that when we displease the Lord, it ruins everything. Of course, Bathsheba’s life was not really happy right now.
b. Bathsheba and David had a new baby, too. If you have more than one child, remind them of the excitement of the time when a new baby is born. There is a new baby in the palace. But David and Bathsheba know, in their hearts, that everything about their lives is wrong right now. David has stolen Uriah’s wife and then made sure Uriah was killed. None of the things, that might ordinarily be wonderful and fun, are fun when God’s people do things that we know are wrong. The palace is not a very happy place right now. People in the palace have guilty consciences.
c. David thinks his big sins are secrets. But Who knows about his sin? Who always know whether we are doing right or wrong?
d. It’s important to remember three things tonight about God. See if you can remember these three things and tomorrow night, we’re going ask you to name these three things again.
- First, God knows everything. There is nothing that God does not know. (Think of a number between 1 and 100 and ask your kids to tell you what number. Emphasize to them that God knows. He know everything.) Read to them Psalm 139:4.
- Second, God is everywhere at all times. It is impossible for us to hide from God. (Do one round of hide and seek. Emphasize to them that, while you did not know where they were, God did.) Read to them Jeremiah 23:24.
- Third, God can do anything He wants to do. He has all power. Ask your children to tell you something from the Bible that shows God’s amazing power. They might tell you about the plagues in Egypt or the fire from heaven at the altar of Baal or about Jesus walking on the water (Alternately, you can ask them to tell you something about creation that shows the infinite power of God.) Read to them Matthew 19:26.
(For teens, you can give the names of these attributes: omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. With all children talk about these three characteristics of God and ask them, at each juncture, if any man can do what God can do. For younger children explain that these are real true-to-life super-powers; that God really can do all of these things. That’s how he knew every detail about what David had done.)
2. Tell your kids that, tomorrow night, you will find out how God is going to let David know that he knows about all of his sins and that he is not pleased. God was there when David called for Bathsheba, because he is everywhere at all times. God knew what was in the envelope that Uriah took to Joab; because God knows everything. God can punish David anyway He wishes because God has all power.
Quote together God’s ideal for marriage: One man and one woman for life.
Quote together the Kidsing rule: Do the right thing.
Quote together the definition of true success: Living your life and going to heaven.
Pray with your children.
Lastly, ask them to tell you, one more time, the three things we are remembering about God.
(You may shorten to: knows everything, is everywhere, has all power.)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.