Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared.
What might you learn from a man given to anger?
You might confuse a temper tantrum for forceful action. Men given to anger think that the expression of anger shows they mean business, when it merely means they are immature. Those on the receiving end of the anger lose respect for such a man. If they seem to jump to orders at his rage, it is because of his position of power not because of the anger itself which they resent and behind his back will mock.
You might believe that anger is necessary to motivate yourself. This really is a danger, because such an idea has even become institutionalized. Athletes buy into it wholesale, as do many others in competitive situations. They believe that anger gives them the competitive edge. They don’t understand that it is not anger that marks the champion, but the commitment to excellence. Anger may give spurts of energy, but more often than not it gives the competition the edge as the wise competitor knows how to use the other man’s anger to his own advantage.
You might discover too late that you have unconsciously taken on the traits of the angry friend, just as children of angry parents take on their parents’ anger. You don’t notice how the tone in your voice has changed, how quick you are to take offense. What you begin to see is how sensitive your friends are becoming, how impatient they seem to be with you, how irritating small things become. And then you are caught in the snare of losing those closest to you and lacking the patience to win them back.
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
7 I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.
9 Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him.”
12 Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
13 May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
14 As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
of your saving acts all day long—
though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles,
many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.
22 I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
have been put to shame and confusion.