“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city,” (Proverbs 16:32).
Anger is often an attempt to control a situation; this in turn means that it is often an attempt to control people. It is not others whom we should be concerned with controlling, but rather ourselves. Our eyes deceive us if we think that the mightier person gets his own way, just as they deceive if we think that the general who captures a city is mightier than the person of reflection and peace.
What is that which is carried into eternity? A conquered city or a quiet spirit? What do I want to be embedded in my character as I cross that last river of life on this planet – a root of anger or a soul at rest? Which is it that draws from the nature of our Lord Jesus? Anger which seeks its own way and strives to dominate others; or the wisdom above which expresses itself in peace toward all mankind?
Behold the mighty conqueror who has subjugated cities and nations; we hail great generals and shower parades and accolades upon them. Mighty they may be, but not so mighty as that woman or man or child who has learned the way of peace in the spirit and soul. The conqueror or general can possess land and money and power but for a season; but the spirit abiding in the Prince of Peace is possessed by Him, and possesses Him, for eternity.
Show me not a map of the great conquests of history, show me the map of a soul and spirit conquered by the peace of Christ, show me a man who has not conquered others but rather who has been conquered by Christ, and then we will see a man who under the lordship of Christ is slow to anger.
If we cannot rule that which is within us, how can we influence, let alone rule, let alone lead, that which is without us?