Proverbs 14:17-19

A person who has a quick temper does foolish things,
and a person with crafty schemes is hated.
The naive inherit folly,
but the shrewd are crowned with knowledge.
Those who are evil will bow before those who are good,
and the wicked will bow at the gates of the righteous.

There’s an episode of Friends when Ben Stiller guest stars on the show. Rachel and Ross had just broken up and have started dating other people. Rachel’s date is a guy named Tommy. All the friends go to see Joey’s play and Ross and Tommy end up in the theater all by themselves – where something interesting happens. Someone is sitting in Tommy’s seat and Tommy just completely blows up on the old man. Ross, the only one who observed this, then spends the rest of the episode trying to convince Rachel and the others the kind of person he really is.

Eventually, by the end of the episode, he gets caught screaming at Joey’s chick and duck – and leaves. Tommy is a great example of this. Erupting for no good reason. Yelling at an old man for being in the wrong seat? Yelling at a chick and a duck? Seriously?

A person who has a quick temper does foolish things. What is it that sets you off so quickly? Are there things that make you just jump out of your skin? Well, I should warn you, bad things happen when you let your temper drive you. I can pretty much guarantee that the way you respond when you’re just boiling, hopping mad isn’t going to help you or the situation in any way. In fact, it’s best to just calm down and react normally.

Funny how often people with bad tempers also do other things – like scheming. It seems that when you’ve given way to issues such as a temper, you also start to give way to other issues like scheming.

The point isn’t only to not be this way, but it’s also to be aware of these people. If you’re not aware of them and their ways, you will become a victim of one of their schemes. So, don’t be naive or you will inherit folly. Instead, be shrewd. Because, one day, those who are wise will be over those who aren’t. Those who are shrewd will be over the fool. Then the fool will find himself wanting what the wise has. The fool will be on the outside of the gate looking in, hoping to be a part.

Make sure you’re on the right side of the gate.