Sometimes you see a boy or a girl who has a very bad temper which
he does not try very hard to control. At such times, when things do
not go just as he wants them to and he goes into a rage, a rush of
words pours from his mouth, words that he would ordinarily be
ashamed of and ones that he will wish with all his heart he might
I know a girl who got terribly angry one time and she began to say
very naughty words about her little friend. Her father heard the loud
talk that was going on outside and went to the door and called his
young daughter to him. He saw a dandelion in full seed—its big tall
stem rose high above the grass around it and on top of that stem
was that ball of pure whiteness almost ready to blow away with its
hundreds of tiny seeds. The girl’s father told her to pick off all that
white fluffy top. Then as she brought it to him he told her to go out
and throw the whole handful up in the air as far as she could.
Of course the wind caught each little seed with its white wing, and
how they scattered in every direction. After the last one had settled
to the ground and most of them gone from sight and ready now to
take root and grow,—her father told his little girl to try to pick them
all up and put them back on the stem again.
Words are just like that. How fast they scatter the moment you let
them out of your mouth—and somewhere they take root too so that
others think they can do it if you can.
But, oh, how much you would give to be able to collect some of those
words back again.
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A great man injured by anger was Moses. When the people murmured
and asked for water, Moses was commanded to strike the rock at Horeb.
Out of all patience with the people and their waywardness, Moses struck
the rock twice, as if the rock had been the head of the people, crying out
as he did so, “Hear, ye rebels!” This burst of rage cost Moses the Promised
Land, because it was for this transgression that Moses —in spite of his
grand service and his pathetic pleading at the end of Israel’s long wandering
—was not permitted to go into the land of Canaan. That was not the first nor
the last time that a land of promise and of happiness was lost through anger.
Moses was not as patient as God.
Jonah is an example of how the character of a good and a great man can
be marred by anger, and his usefulness impaired. His story suggests the
folly, the danger, and the injury of anger. Unfortunately, when a man feels
anger and gives unrestrained expression to it, as Jonah did, his fellowman
is not as patient and long suffering as God was and does not always return
the soft answer which God returned to the angry and petulant Jonah.
Anger is one of the most common sins, yet one of the most dangerous and
injurious to the peace and well-being of man. More than any other sin,
it blasts the flower of friendship, turns men out of Eden, destroys peace
and concord in the home, incites to crime and violence, and turns love and
affection into hatred.
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An answer, when mild, turns away rage,
but a word causing pain makes anger to come up.
Proverbs : 15 : 1
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