Proverbs 15:18

ESV A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
NIV A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
NASB A hot-tempered person stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
CSB A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but one slow to anger calms strife.
NLT A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them.
KJV A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

What does Proverbs 15:18 mean?

Self-control is a valuable attribute. The ability to consider one's words and actions, rather than lashing out without thinking, makes an enormous impact on one's life. Few people want to associate with a hot-tempered person, for fear of getting "burned." Solomon points out the reason here: a raging man creates conflict. Prior verses noted how controlling one's words helps avoid undue tension (Proverbs 15:1, 4). Some conflict may be unavoidable, but temperamental reactions add even more friction. Choosing to be "slow to anger"—to moderate one's response to a situation—allows more control and defuses a great deal of strife.

The prior verse spoke of the impact of love on enjoying earthly foods. This has strong implications for a home, or a marriage. In that context, this proverb might also be commentary from Solomon on the need for calm in a relationship. It has been said that when anger gets the best of us, it reveals the worst of us. In English, writers note that anger is just one letter short of danger. Not all anger is sinful, but some is; Jesus denounced unrighteous anger by saying, "Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment" (Matthew 5:22). In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul exhorts believers to abandon sinful anger. He writes: "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice" (Ephesians 4:31).

The person who controls his anger helps keep disagreements from reaching a boiling point. This is one mark of a peacemaker, about whom Jesus promised blessing (Matthew 5:9).
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