November 28, 2022 – Monday
Control and Self-Control
Proverbs 16:32 NIV
32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
Proverbs 16:32 NET
32 Better to be slow to anger than to be a mighty warrior, and one who controls his temper is better than one who captures a city.
Proverbs 16:32 KJV
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
Looking for self-discipline ended up with self-control. In the NIV there are 13 occurrences, two in the Old Testament and eleven in the New Testament. Other versions such as the ESV, NASB, NKJV vary in number and location while some such as the KJV have none. However, they may have verses indicating a loss of self-control by looking at control only such as Genesis 45;1, Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers.
Looking at self-control in the verse for today we find self-control in the NIV, controls his temper in the NET, and ruleth his spirit in the KJV, it is obvious all are reflecting self-control. Before providing much in the way of comments or commentary I want to provide Ellicott’s Commentary because of its brevity, For victory over self is the hardest of all victories. Often such a victory is impossible without calling on the Father or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. When I write that I am thinking of myself and my battles with weight and diet. I find I can only make so much progress without calling upon God in prayer for help in going further or to prevent falling backwards once again.
The first half of this verse also reflects self-control, for how else can one be a patient person or slow to anger? An individual who is patient or slow to anger is able to slow down his actions or reactions to various provocations. Often the one provoking is hoping for an immediate and ill thought-out response and is dismayed to find one responding patiently, carefully, and not even appearing angry.
Such ability is worth its weight in gold in a marriage. There, things can be so personal and emotional it is easy to lose patience and become angry. However, the ability to be patient or slow to anger avoids making whatever problem is under discussion worse. Then self-control or control of temper or ruling one’s spirit can pay enormous dividends in the marriage.
Sharon, my bride of 52 years come next July 27, can tell you for a fact it took me years to become patient and the same for me to become slow to anger. The greatest tool given me by the Holy Spirit was the ability to ask myself how important is this? But how to determine the answer? The Holy Spirit came to the rescue asking, “Will this be important in an hour, in a day, in a week, in a month, in six months?” Of course, if it was not going to be important in months to come what was the point other than my false pride of wanting to be the one winning any discussion, disagreement, or argument. I call this tool, counting, counting into the future.
I would like to close with two quotes, the first found in David Guzik’s Commentary by Bridges, A great conflict and a glorious victory are set out here. The heart is the field of battle. All its evil and powerful passions are deadly foes. They must be met and triumphed over in God’s strength. The second found in the Pulpit Commentary, The long suffering, non-irascible man is more of a hero than the valiant commander of a great army. One overcomes external foes or obstacles; the other conquers himself. Look at the people around you and you will likely see much truth in these two quotes.
Bottom Line: Following God and battling your heart is best won with help from the Holy Spirit and prayer.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for such words of wisdom in Proverbs. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton