A FOOL GIVES FULL VENT TO HIS ANGER: " 'A fool speaketh
all his mind', heedless of what the effect may be. A knave sometimes uses words
that do not express himself; he is only intent on impressing the minds of
others. A just and wise man speaks as he thinks and feels, but guards the door
of his mouth so as not to express too much. He may think that one to whom he
speaks is foolish, but it is not wise to say so. He may know that some of his
hearers are knaves, but it is perfectly honest to treat them as honest men. He
can only have two motives in speaking, to express himself and to influence other
people. Usually the second object is much the more important, so self-expression
must be controlled lest it should interfere with the real object of speech"
"Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he
can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him"
HAVE THIS IN COMMON: Cp Mat 5:44,45. Or, as LXX: "When
creditor and debtor meet together, the Lord is overseer of them both."
"He who lives without discipline is exposed to grievous ruin"
(Thomas a' Kempis).
CAST OFF RESTRAINT: Or, as KJV mg, "is made naked": cp
Gen 3:7-11; Rev 16:15.
"We can bring ourselves into line if we frequently raise the
question: what is our aim in speaking? Speech may be with the object of giving
instruction, or putting questions to receive instruction, or it may be in the
ordinary amenities of social life. We can think of nothing else unless it is
mere self-expression, a talk for the love of talking. Where is there room for
any ill-feeling to be expressed in any of these opportunities for speech? In the
ordinary amenities of life there is surely every reason for good feelings which
may be revealed freely with only good effects. If anyone is so unfortunate as to
find ill-feeling at home, then a desperate effort should be made to avoid any
aggravation of it. Words provocative of anger are always out of place in the
home, but they are especially to be deprecated when such provocation has already
begun. If a little fire started in a dry corner of the house, no man would be
fool enough to throw petrol on it. It is strange that men should often be so
ready to feed that more terrible flame, which, as the apostle James says, is set
on fire of hell. Homes have been wrecked and lives made sad by the folly of
hasty and ill-tempered speech. It is perfectly true, as the wise man says, that
there is more hope for a fool than for a man who is hasty in his words"
Vv 21-23: Parable of prodigal son (cp Pro 29:3).
"He that lives wantonly from a child shall be a servant, and
in the end shall grieve over himself" (LXX).