Slow to Anger is Better Than the Mighty

Written by: John Sernaque

Call to Worship


Proverbs 16: 32

16:32 [He that is] slow to anger [is] better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.


How to Be Stronger Than Kings or Conquerors—

Is Christ using cutting words, stern criticism and unkind suspicion toward His people who commit faults? No. He takes every infirmity into account; He acts with discernment. He knows every one of our failings; but He uses patience; for otherwise we would have perished long ago on account of our bad treatment of Him. The greatest insult we can inflict upon Him, is to pretend to be His disciples while manifesting the spirit of Satan in our words, our dispositions and our actions. It does not behoove those from whom Jesus has so much to bear, in their failings and perversity, to be ever mindful of slights and real or imaginary offense. And yet there are those who are ever suspecting the motives of others about them. They see offense and slights where no such thing was intended. All this is Satan’s work in the human heart. The heart filled with that love which thinketh no evil will not be on the watch to notice discourtesies and grievances of which he may be the object. The will of God is that His love shall close the eyes, the ears and the heart to all such provocations and to all the suggestions with which Satan would fill them. There is a noble majesty in the silence of the one exposed to evil surmising or outrage. To be master of one’s spirit is to be stronger than Kings or conquerors. A Christian leads one to think of Christ. He will be affable, kind, patient, humble and yet courageous and firm in vindicating the truth and the name of Christ (Manuscript 24, 1887). {3BC 1160.7}


We must not consider as our enemies all those who do not receive us with a smile upon their lips and with demonstrations of love. It is much easier to play the martyr than to overcome a bad temper. {3BC 1160.8}


We must give others an example of not stopping at every trifling offense in order to vindicate our rights. We may expect that false reports will circulate about us; but if we follow a straight course, if we remain indifferent to these things, others will also be indifferent. Let us leave to God the care of our reputation. And thus, like sons and daughters of God, we shall show that we have self-control. We shall show that we are led by the Spirit of God, and that we are slow to anger. Slander can be lived down by our manner of living; it is not lived down by words of indignation. Let our great anxiety be to act in the fear of God, and show by our conduct that these reports are false. No one can injure our character as much as ourselves. It is the weak trees and the tottering houses that need to be constantly propped. When we show ourselves so anxious to protect our reputation against attacks from the outside, we give the impression that it is not blameless before God, and that it needs therefore to be continually bolstered up (Manuscript 24, 1887). {3BC 1160.9}


A true Christian spirit leads one to become a master, not of others, but of self. While on earth, Jesus was despised and rejected of men. We esteemed him not. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3. It is not a popularity contest. Our mission is to help save souls. The Sadducees and Pharisees spoke out against Jesus at every turn and spread false rumors regarding His character and that His healing power came from the devil. Jesus did not retaliate at these accusations, but continued healing throughout the land. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3: 17. Unfortunately, there are Christians, even self- professed pastors whose mission is to cut down those very ones they should be lifting up. If anyone questions them in any way, making them easily offended, they immediately lash out with their standard response, “you are of the devil.” The passage above from Ellen White states “The greatest insult we can inflict upon Him, is to pretend to be His disciples while manifesting the spirit of Satan in our words, our dispositions and our actions…..To be master of one’s spirit is to be stronger than Kings or conquerors. A Christian leads one to think of Christ…. When we show ourselves so anxious to protect our reputation against attacks from the outside, we give the impression that it is not blameless before God, and that it needs therefore to be continually bolstered up.” If this applies to you or anyone you know, hear this straight from the mouth of John the Baptist and Christ Jesus,

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3: 1-2


From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4: 17


We need to pray that while there is still an opportunity for them today, as tomorrow is not promised to anyone, that they will heed the call of repentance from John the Baptist and our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Amen.


Dear Father, God almighty,

We thank You for giving us this day with yet another opportunity to heed Your call for repentance. We thank You for the blessings and the teachings of Your Word. We pray that You help us all to demonstrate and magnify Your character in our life and the way we interact with each other. Help us follow Your example of being slow to anger and mastering our spirit. We pray for those who are not blameless before You, that You may have mercy and compassion on their souls, giving them the opportunity to change their ways and to become the Christian You long all of us to be. Help us be an example to them of not stopping at every trifling offense in order to vindicate our rights. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayers, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.


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