Tag Archives: restraint

Win the Battle, Lose the War #1484

8 Scoffers set a city aflame, but wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. (Proverbs 29:8–9, NKJV)

We know it is possible to “win the battle but lose the war.” That is the predictable outcome when we are driven by pride to “get in the last word” of a dispute. Instead of calmly choosing words that edify and seek a godly solution to the matter, yielding to the temptation to rip into the person who has hurt us only fans the flames of wrath and malice (Ephesians 4:29-32). Tongue control results from heart control, and the wise person discerns when contending becomes fodder for the fool (Proverbs 26:4). “A man of understanding will hold his peace” at such times (Proverbs 11:12). When tempted by the passion of anger to remove restraint and “burn down the house” (so to speak), be wise and turn away from wrath. Rule over the impulse of wrath (Genesis 4:6-7). “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still” (Psalm 4:4). The victory of faith lasts into eternity, but there is no peace in the fleeting satisfaction of the fool’s rage.

The Restraint of Law #351

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18)

Social order and harmony is achieved and maintained when citizens respect divine revelation and obey divine law. Otherwise, chaos invariably reigns. We are amazed and distressed to see injustice and criminal conduct rationalized as a “right” by those devoid of a fear of God. By definition, riotous mobs exhibit uncontrolled behavior precisely because people do not value God or others. Selfishness rules the mob. The restraints of decency are cast aside for the indulgence of self and sin. Only when people respect the rule of law and accept its authority over their lives will they value the life and property of others. God once command Israel not to “follow a crowd to do evil” (Exo. 23:2). It remains true that blessings come to those who honor God’s word and obey it.