Who Is A Fool? -
A Quick Temper
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 3/5/01
"See then that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise,"
1) A person is a fool who denies the existence of God. Psalms 14:1
2) A person is a fool who trusts in his own heart. Proverbs 28:26
3) A person is a fool who despises wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
4) A person is a fool who is quick-tempered & Does NOT control
his/her anger. Ecc. 7:9; Proverbs 14:16-17
5) A person is a fool who scoffs at sin. Proverbs 14:9; 10:23
Reviewing the Definition of A Fool
Let’s begin by reviewing the Biblical definition of a fool. The term fool
is often used for a sinful, wicked or immoral person who will not obey the commands of
the Lord. The fool acts contrary to biblical wisdom in his choices and behavior.
He follows his own inclinations and desires. The fool prefers to enjoy the immediate,
insignificant pleasures of the here and now to obeying and serving the Lord and being rewarded
Who is a fool? A person is a fool who is quick tempered & does NOT
control his or her anger
"Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in
the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:9
"A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool
rageth, and is confident. 17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly:
and a man of wicked devices is hated." Proverbs 14:16-17
Anger is a violent passion of the mind excited by a real or supposed injury;
usually accompanied with a propensity to take vengeance, or to obtain satisfaction from
the offending party. This passion however varies in degrees of violence, and in ingenuous
minds, may be attended only with a desire to reprove or chide the offender. (1828 Webster’s
- Examination of 2 Key Words
First, let’s look at the phrase in Ecclesiastes 7:9 which says,
"Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry." The word hasty is a
translation of the Hebrew word which means to act hastily. In the context, it is an
admonition not to be a "hot head" or quick tempered.
Next we come to the phrase "soon angry" in Proverbs
14:17. The word soon is the Hebrew word that means short. Again, it is a
reference to someone who has a "short fuse" or quickly loses his temper. I think of
people like this as those who have a cherry bomb temperament. When I was a kid we used to be
able to get firecrackers called Cherry Bombs. They were round, about circumference of a
quarter. They had a waterproof fuse. But there was a problem. The fuses were short. So whatever
you were going to do you had to do quickly because you only had about 4 seconds to get out of
the way and they’d go off. Quick-tempered people are just like Cherry Bombs. Before you even
realize they are upset they blow up!
- 4 Reasons It Is Foolish To Be
First, anger makes you careless! Though it is a bit obscure, this
thought is in the phrase, "…the fool rageth, and is confident." Proverbs 14:16.
The word confident is the Hebrew word is also translated careless! An
angry person is a careless person. An angry person is a reckless person. They don’t stop to
think how their angry outbursts affect those around them. They "blow up" all over
everyone, leaving them upset and perhaps fearful. Then they go along their merry way not paying
any attention to the havoc they caused. They have forgotten it and they mistakenly think that
everyone else has also.
Second, anger goads you to make wrong choices. Verse 17 says, "He
that is soon angry dealeth foolishly." That is, when a person is quick tempered, that
person has the propensity or tendency to make wrong choices or to do foolish things. A graphic
illustration of this very thing is clearly seen in the life of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel
3:19-22. He lost some of his top military men because he was so angry with three Hebrew
teenagers who would not bow down and worship his idol.
Third, anger has negative social consequences. Nobody enjoys being
around an angry, bitter, hateful person. They are depressing to be around. They drag you down.
Anger warps the personality and squeezes the joy out of the angry person’s life, replacing it
with a "sour grapes" attitude. In fact the Bible instructs us not to be friends with
an angry person. Proverbs 22:24-25 says, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and
with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to
It is important to point out that the writer of Proverbs says anger is a
learned behavior! The verse is clear, we are to avoid being friends with people who cannot
control their tempers. Remember, "anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes
Forth, anger has negative health consequences too. I Kings 21:4-6
shows how Ahab’s anger affect him physically. He was depressed; he lost his appetite and his
If anger continuously smolders just underneath the surface in your life, you
are asking for health problems. I have read studies on anger that suggest that 60% to 80% of
illness results from hostility. Emotions such as anger, envy, resentment, worry etc. can cause
ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, strokes, heart trouble, headaches, hardening of the
arteries, kidney disease, arthritis and more according to medical studies.
Is there biblical support for the assertion that anger can have physical
consequences? The answer is yes! Turn to Proverbs 14:30 "A sound heart is
the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones." The word envy
comes from the Hebrew word which means passionate anger against someone or something.
The old Baptist commentator writing on this verse said, "a sound heart is a
quiet heart; a heart free from wrath, anger, and envy, and such like passions and
perturbations; this contributes much to the health of the body, and the comfort of life."
But a person filled with passionate anger, Gill says, "preys upon his own spirits,
and not only wastes his flesh, but weakens and consumes the stronger parts of his body, the
bones." Anger is unhealthy! "Anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes
We have seen that being quick-tempered or angry…
1) Makes you careless
2) Goads you to make wrong choices
3) Has negative social consequences and
4) Has negative health consequences as well.
- Biblical Instructions On How To Handle
There are many verses that give clear instructions on anger. Here are just a
1. Confess Anger As Sin - "But now ye also put off all
these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth." Colossians
2. As God To Set A Watch Over Your Mouth & Prompt You To Think
Before You Speak - "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my
lips." Psalms 141:3 & "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer:
but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things." Proverbs 15:28
3. Forgive Those You Are Angry With - "Forgiving one
another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do
ye." Colossians 3:13
4. Memorize Key Scripture Verses On Anger -- 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." & James 1:19 "Wherefore,
my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"
Anger rests in the bosom of fools! A wise man will take steps to be sure
that his anger is under control. Are you wise or foolish?