Self-Control Week: Angry Friends

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24-25)

Have you ever noticed that angry people tend to flock together? According to today’s verse, it’s not necessarily because they just enjoy being angry together. It’s because a lack of self-control over our anger is contagious. A quick temper is like the black plague of emotional responses. It spreads and it kills.

clock_350This verse doesn’t say so, but I think that tends to go with lack of self-control is many areas of life. When the leader in a group shows that it’s “okay” not to control yourself, her friends will often lower their standards for self-control in that area, too.

So friends tend to lean together toward out-of-control anger or fear or sexual expression or gossip or procrastination. Close friends are a powerful influence in our lives.

The solution: If you have a choice, move away from the quick-tempered person and find some friends who care as much as you do about living wisely.

Think: In your group of friends, what is the standard for controlling feelings of anger? How about other areas of self-control? Do you think you tend to influence your friends toward wiser living?

Pray: Ask God to help you to avoid making friends with quick-tempered people and to help you to find friends who influence you to live more wisely.

Do: Notice the people you spend time with this week to see which of them control their anger and which are controlled by it.