Throughout the whole scene Ezra kept his calm, stayed polite and never shot back anger or aggression towards Ben.
Reference: v.32 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. (NIV Bible)
Explore: It was only the other day that I got the chance to see the movie 7 Pounds starring Will Smith. I had gone to see it at the cinemas but the screening was interrupted so we missed the first five minutes. We had no idea what was going on so ended up getting our money back. So I finally got around to hiring the DVD and was enraptured by this storyline from start to finish. One particular moment that stood out to me – don’t worry, I wont spoil the plot if you haven’t seen it yet – was when Ben, the person Will Smith was portraying, was testing the character of a guy called Ezra. It was over the phone and Ben started challenging not just Ezra’s work position but his personal life too. Throughout the whole scene Ezra kept his calm, stayed polite and never shot back anger or aggression towards Ben.
Application: I watched that scene knowing that I would never be able to keep my cool like Ezra had. I’m generally fairly polite but to be pushed as far as Ezra was, I would have snapped at some point. And yet Ezra showed fine quality of character even under persecution. In Proverbs 16 it says that it is better for us to control our temper than for us to over power a whole city. It is important that we don’t let people just walk all over us however so often we get feisty back at someone even though it will not bring us to a better place in the end. When I am in a heated discussion with someone I try to stop myself and ask, ‘What will be accomplished by pursuing this argument?’ If I am helping to shape a whole groups mentality then sometimes it is worth bringing a different perspective. However, if it is just to save my pride or ‘win’ an argument, then that’s not worth losing my temper over. Patience is a virtue and it is one that is honorable to God. The challenge is using our patience when it is being tested.
Prayer: Lord, you are a God of reason and understanding. Help us to know when to fight and when to swallow our pride. Amen.
When have you lost your patience? Was it advantageous being a warrior?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.