Proverbs 14:29

ESV Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
NIV Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
NASB One who is slow to anger has great understanding; But one who is quick-tempered exalts foolishness.
CSB A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.
NLT People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.
KJV He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

What does Proverbs 14:29 mean?

Once again, Solomon addresses the subject of controlling one's temper (Proverbs 14:17). The ability to think before speaking or acting is a sign of great maturity. In the context of the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:1–7), "learning" leads to "knowledge," which allows a person the ability to use "wisdom." Well-developed wisdom becomes "understanding," which can then be passed on to others. A self-controlled person demonstrates this refined, advanced form of wisdom.

The understanding person weighs a situation carefully (Proverbs 11:14; 14:12; 18:13, 17) and reacts only as the situation warrants (Proverbs 14:15–17). A "fool" is not necessarily a person who lacks intelligence; it's someone who ignores godly wisdom and makes ungodly choices (Proverbs 12:15). One sign of foolishness is losing his temper at the slightest provocation or at no provocation at all. Reacting from pure instinct (Jude 1:10) without having gathered all the facts leads to embarrassment and a bad reputation.

Psalm 37:8 exhorts us to "refrain from anger, and forsake wrath," and urges us not to wallow in worry, since it leads to evil. Evil people may distress believers (Psalm 73:2–3), but the Lord knows all about their wickedness and will cut them off (Psalm 37:9; 73:16–18). Colossians 3:8 implores believers to put away anger and wrath. James counsels, "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:19–21). Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:8, "I desire that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling." Rather than reacting to others in anger, we should turn to God in prayer and in His Word.
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