“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Proverbs 14:17a He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly.

Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

Proverbs 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.

Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place to the devil.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

MEMORY VERSE: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. —James 1:19-20

CENTRAL THOUGHT: While God’s anger is always the response of His holiness against willful and inexcusable sin and is tempered by His love for mankind, the anger of man is born of selfish interest, the response of an insulted carnal nature, and can be instantly enraged or blaze long afterward; both extremes are sins that must be put away.


Psalm 37:8 “Anger”: from a word also used for countenance and face; also nose or nostril; “to snort.” “Wrath”: fury; rage; indignation; the same word is also used for poison.

Proverbs 14:17 “Soon angry”: quick-tempered.

Proverbs 19:11 “Discretion”: prudence; insight: the same word is used for prudence, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge; also to describe Abigail, who turned away David’s anger (I Samuel 25:3). “Deferreth”: prolongs; makes long; endure; slow to anger.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Resteth”: settle down and remain. “[Anger] hath its settled and quiet abode, is their constant companion, ever at hand upon all occasions, whereas wise men resist, and mortify, and banish it” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary).

Ephesians 4:26 “Angry”: to make angry; irritate; provoke; become exasperated; enrage.

Ephesians 4:27 “Devil”: slanderer; false accuser; one who sets at variance. “Excess of wrath is forbidden, as giving opportunity to the enemy, who desires to break up unity, and ‘set at variance’ those who should be one in Jesus Christ” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers).

Ephesians 4:31 “Bitterness”: acrid; pungent; sharp. From a word meaning to cut. A harsh, resentful spirit. “Wrath”: to be in a heat; breathe violently; strong passion. “Anger”: from a word meaning to teem or swell, as a plant or fruit swelling with juice. “The natural disposition, temper, character; movement or agitation of soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but especially anger” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). “Clamour”: outcry; with great emotion. “Evil speaking”: injurious speech; blasphemy; abusive language; railing. “Malice”: an underlying principle of evil; wicked disposition; spite; viciousness.

Ephesians 4:32 “Kind”: sweet; amiable; gentle in bearing with wrong; pleasant; useful. “Tenderhearted”: sympathetic with the infirmities, griefs and miseries of others; compassionate; merciful. “Forgiving”: showing favor and pardon.


Our lesson today is part two of the study of temperance or self-control. The Old Testament verses speak much to us about the control of our spirit. Wisdom, prudence, and understanding from God are offered as answers to the problem of a hasty spirit. It is the fool who allows his life to be out of control in this area. God lays out the path to wisdom clearly: fear and reverence Him; cry out to Him daily for wisdom; hate evil.

To find examples showing how God dealt with man’s anger, we can go as far back in the Bible as the very first family. God asked Cain, “Why are you angry?” It would be good if when we find ourselves in a spiritual struggle with anger, we ask ourselves this question. Let God go through the memories, the years, the inherited disposition, the childhood environment, the learned behaviors. Let Him reveal the “why” to our hearts.

Another time, God questioned Jonah, “Do you well to be angry?” To which Jonah retorted, “I do well to be angry!” Anger is easy to justify within ourselves. It blinds our reason so we will even argue with God.

The Bible speaks of having our loins girded about; girding up the loins of the mind; having the loins girded about with truth. Husbands are not to allow bitterness to develop in their minds toward their wives. Wives are to be sober and discreet. Parents are not to provoke their children to wrath when administering discipline. What does this have to do with a girded mind? The mind, or the seat of the emotions, is to be controlled. The New Testament word discreet is a combination of two Greek words meaning, (1 safe, preserved, whole; and (2 to rein in or curb the midriff; figuratively, the feelings or sensitive nature; also the mind or cognitive faculties. It means self-controlled, moderate as to opinion or passion, sober, and temperate. What reins in or controls and curbs the loins—the mind or inner feelings and emotions—of a man or woman is God’s truth.

The truths in the New Testament are clear about God’s plan for dealing with this very common human problem. I don’t believe the admonition would be given for putting away wrath and anger if He didn’t also intend to give us the grace and power to do so. Again we see the answer in coming to God for wisdom: be swift to hear. Get still before God. Listen to what He reveals to your heart and obey what He says. Only He can control the passion within and the expression without. The secret to overcoming lies in the positive actions of kindness, tenderness and forgiveness.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. He that is slow to anger ________ ___________________, but he that is soon angry _________ ___________________.
  2. He who rules his spirit is better than ____ _______ ________ __ _________.
  3. He who doesn’t rule his spirit is like a broken down ________, ___________ ________.
  4. What is the secret to deferring anger, or making someone slow to anger?
  5. A ______ allows anger to rest in his bosom.
  6. What positive actions are to replace anger, wrath, and malice?


When a man and a woman come together and take the marriage vows, they promise to love, honor, cherish each other and seek the other’s happiness as well as their own. With those vows comes great responsibility to each other and to the children who are born to them. Too many times we see those vows forgotten and angry words are spoken. Quarreling and fighting take place. Those things break down the stability of the family unit and create insecurity in the children. This comes from the carnal human nature. The inner workings of the two of them set the tone of the home.

I had an experience some years ago that opened my eyes to the power of the enemy I had never experienced before. My husband, Gerald, was a taxidermist, and we have a small taxidermy supply business. We were at the state taxidermy convention where we had a booth at their trade show. He went out with some things to put in the truck and I came a little later with the rest of our things, as we were checking out of the hotel. I found the truck locked and he was nowhere to be seen. I waited a little while and he came around the building; he had gone to check the U-haul trailer parked on the other side of the building. The devil got in the truck with us as we rode across the parking lot to the convention hall. A sudden fury came over me and an urging to tell him how awful that was. I knew he had locked the truck out of habit, not thinking I was coming later. No big deal. The urging got so strong I almost could not keep my mouth shut, but I was determined by the help of the Lord, I would not say a word because I knew it would be a blast if I opened my mouth, and I obeyed that spirit. I was thankful the Holy Spirit was with me and came on the scene and intervened by the time we got to the center. That evil spirit was gone in an instant and I was free, able to ask him about the trailer in a kind voice. Victory was sweet. We were able to go to our booth where a couple who had heard of Gerald’s cancer being divinely healed came to us in tears asking for prayer for their little grandson who was being afflicted with a disease similar to ALS. Had I given in to the temptation to give him a good “going over,” we would not have been in any shape to administer hope and comfort which comes from the Holy Spirit. “Keep thy heart with all diligence…..” (Proverbs 4:23).

—Bro Gerald and Sis. Connie Flynn, Loranger, Louisiana

Married September 25, 1959