There’s nothing more entertaining than a first year coach. Determined to make his mark and assert his authority, he treats everything like it’s a big deal. He’s not going to let anyone get away with anything. I was once that guy (and still am occasionally). It’s a combination of immaturity and a lack of perspective. Over time, that guy hopefully learns that even guys in the Big Leagues have a mental lapse from time to time.
Proverbs 19:11–“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.”
If being around the game of baseball can teach us anything, it’s what this verse mentions as great virtues.
Two great signs of maturity taught by this verse and in the game:
Be slow to anger. “Discretion” is the key word here. This is the idea of perspective, knowing what is a big deal and what isn’t. Those with discretion save their anger for the things and situations that really deserve it…and their anger is the righteous kind, not the I’m-going-to-get-you-back kind. If you see a player or coach who’s angry all the time, pray for the Holy Spirit to bring a deeper level of perspective and maturity in his heart and mind. Baseball and life will always present us with reasons to be angry–they’re both full of failure. The mature on and off the field are slow to anger.
Be less easily offended. Like that first-year coach, if you’re looking for things people are doing wrong, whether in general or toward you, you’re going to find it. Why? Because you’re looking for it. Wait, you say, am I supposed to let people get away with things that are wrong? That’s not the point. The point isn’t that we refuse to hold people accountable for their behavior. Of course, we should. The point in this verse is grace. The point is that many of us are simply too easily offended. Believers in Jesus, who have received his grace and forgiveness for our offenses, have no right to be grace-less or to be easily offended. The mature in Christ extend grace and overlook offenses, so that they can extend the love of Jesus to those who need it most–the offensive.
Lord Jesus, make me slow to anger and less easily offended. I can’t do that on my own. Fill me with your Spirit and live through me today. Amen