Patience Is Better Than Pride

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. – Ecclesiastes 7:8-9

That sounds pretty radical. “Anger resides in the lap of fools.” What about when I have just cause to be angry – is that foolish? There are about three occasions that arouse anger in us. One is when someone we care about is being abused in some way. Another is when our belief system is being threatened. A third is when we feel that our person/pride is being threatened.

Most of our anger comes from the third category. Our pride, or ego, sees many opportunities to be angry: When we feel that we are being taken advantage of; when we feel that we are being neglected; when we feel others are disrespecting us in some way. Our pride, or ego, gives us many opportunities to be angry.

According to this passage in the Proverbs, “patience is better than pride.” What does that mean to us in everyday life? Simply that most of what makes us angry is foolishness and if we will just be patient most of these things will work themselves out. And besides that, if the issues don’t just work themselves out we are still better for not allowing them to cause an angry response.

Those who have gained wisdom through the process of trial and error tell us that thinking in terms of the big picture puts our own situation in perspective. What I mean by that is we often see circumstances through a short-sighted lens. We can only see how the situation immediately affects us and we don’t like what we see. When we can look at the big picture we can see that most of what concerns us fades in view of what is taking place on a larger scale.

When we see life through the big picture we respond in a way that affects a larger set of circumstanchtt rather than in a way that justifies us for the moment.

Prayer: Lord, I don’t want to be seen as an angry fool. Grant me the wisdom to look beyond myself to a greater purpose. Give me the grace of patience that I will bring honor to you. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools

Affirmation: I know that the end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride, therefore I will not allow myself to be quickly provoked.

Reflection: Three causes of anger are listed in this devotion. Reflect on them and how you have responded in those situation. Of the three, do you agree that ego is the one which gives us the most trouble?

My Thoughts: I would enjoy knowing your thoughts on this devotion. Please leave a comment.
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1 Response to “Patience Is Better Than Pride”


  1. 1 Keith Rose April 16, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Paul,
    One of the things I learned from you many years ago
    was that the only person that can make me mad at anything
    is myself and to pray for Patience which over the years God
    has blessed me with abundantly. I would to say thank you
    Lord for Paul Smith your voice and servant to many.


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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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