This verse contrasts two of the most mentioned characters in Proverbs – the “fool” and the “wise man.” The fool’s focus and attitudes cause him to openly display his “anger” when things don’t go his way.
At Helping Up Mission I’ll ask in class how many guys have been beaten up, stabbed or shot because of their anger. Most hands go up! It has also caused them to get arrested, lose jobs and destroy meaningful relationships. They don’t like being that guy but just can’t control those emotions.
The second half of this verse speaks of the wise man who “keeps himself under control.” Consequently, he does not struggle with the fool’s above-mentioned problems. Instead he finds a new source of self-control empowerment.
So how can I be that kind of guy? It actually starts by admitting I can’t – and will never be able to – control of my own emotions! But I can decide to trust God to do for me what I can’t do for myself.
God gives self-control to anyone willing to turn their will and life over to Him on a daily basis. I just have to quit trying to change myself – I can’t. But He can and wants to do for me everything I can’t do for myself. That’s how a wise man does it – that’s also Steps 1, 2 & 3 of the 12 Steps!