Anger and Fool’s Bosoms

Angry Talk (Comic Style)
Angry Talk (Comic Style) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap (bosom NKJ) of fools” ( Eccl 7:9, NIV)

At work, things went awry. Badly. Filling in as a long-term substitute teacher for a friend, I discovered I didn’t have enough books to teach the proposed lesson. The old school procedures had been forgotten by this addled brain of mine. I had more preparations than time to do it in. And I had no worksheets run-off as my superior intellect assumed I should have had.

Mix into the the hodgepodge a few snide remarks made by colleagues. Near the end of the second day, I allowed myself to become angry. I ranted against the system, complained to one and all about my plight, and generally became unpleasant to be around.

That evening we were to study Ecclesiastes 7. Again. (I think God wants me to memorize this chapter because we have been unable to move past it since Christmas.) I can across verse 9. Like Alice or Thumbelina, I shrunk in shame. I knew I had been a fool. My anger unveiled pride and taught me the truth about Ecclesiastes 7:9 in ways I hadn’t seen before.

  1. It demonstrated: Ego. I wanted to look good before my students. These were things beyond my control, and it was, afterall, only the second day.
  2. It created: Misery Have you ever enjoyed a movie or performance or lesson or a book or the company of a unique individual and then have someone grouse about it/her? They’re not fun people to be friends with.
  3.  It ruined: Fun. I am typically hard on myself. It was only day two. People, students included, would cut me some slack. And this number goes back to #1–pride. The day before was delightful. By day two, I knew I’d have a LONG 10 week teaching stint.
  4. It could have been: Controlled. I could have stopped myself. I took a willful step and said, “I don’t care.” And then I let it rip.

In the end, I, who railed against my friend, proved that I was the incompetent one. I was the failure. I was a fool. It had been said that he who points a finger has three facing himself. That’s a truth.

How else does anger reside in the bosom of fools? Have you battled it?

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