Proverbs 19:19

ESV A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
NIV A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.
NASB A person of great anger will suffer the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.
CSB A person with intense anger bears the penalty; if you rescue him, you'll have to do it again.
NLT Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.
KJV A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.

What does Proverbs 19:19 mean?

Among the worst consequences of an uncontrolled temper is the tendency to make the same mistakes again and again. Being hot-tempered means lacking in self-control, so a person is liable to make the same foolish choices when put under pressure. Proverbs warns repeatedly about the ways in which one's temper can be dangerous (Proverbs 14:17, 29; 15:18; 17:27; 19:11). That danger extends to others as well; Scripture suggests it's better to avoid those who can't control their emotions (Proverbs 22:24).

Another application of this verse is the idea of learning hard lessons. At times, people need to suffer the natural consequences of their actions. This is especially true of children, who often struggle to mature when perpetually "rescued" from their own mistakes. The verses on either side of this proverb (Proverbs 19:18, 20) speak of the value in discipline and learning. Preventing all negative results, whether on behalf of a child or an adult, tends to encourage them committing the same errors over and over again.

History and modern culture are full of stories about habitual hot heads. Although they were punished for crimes and mistakes, some eventually repeated their mistakes. Of course, some men and women learn from their errors. When they are released from prison, or overcome their other consequences, they sincerely seek a more controlled life.

An angry man who repeatedly gets into trouble cannot blame circumstances or other people for the harm he inflicts on others. His problem doesn't stem from others or from difficult circumstances; it stems from what he is by nature. Jeremiah 17:9 describes the heart as desperately sick. Shallow reformation doesn't change the heart. Only spiritual regeneration—the new birth (John 3:3)—makes all things new (Jeremiah 31:31–33; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
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