“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he who ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” ~ Proverbs 16:32, KJB (Camb. Ed.)
I am very guilty of being quick to irritation and anger. Oftentimes, when something doesn’t go my way or when someone disrespects me, I get very upset and my frustration boils over. For this reason, I am much less than the mighty and my spirit becomes a bit unruly.
It takes time to build patience, and it is not an easy thing to strengthen. Experience, time, troubles, and trials strengthen patience, but all too often, we don’t have the self control necessary to come through those trials and tribulations with our dignity still intact.
Self control is a very tricky concept to understand. One would think that it’s as simple as, well, controlling yourself. Why would you control yourself on some situation, though? Why eat the carrot instead of the doughnut? Speak nicely in anger rather than harsh words? One answer is that the consequences outweigh the immediate pleasure it gives.
A doughnut is a delicious little morsel of baked sweetness, whereas a carrot is a stiff stick of orange. When we’re angry, it feels good to berate the person or thing that made us angry, but when we do begin to carp and scream, we hurt other people or end up looking like fools.
God knew that consequences would shape behavior in the long run; therefore, those who can control themselves and subdue their behavior are able to more efficiently keep God’s Law. Those people God can trust. Those people have scars of battle with the enemy and survived each time, though some battles were lost.
It isn’t how many times you’ve failed that matters; it’s how much experience and patience you’ve acquired from them.