Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Monday, May 25, 2015

Alexander the Not-So-Very-Great

 "Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."
Proverbs 16:32
Alexander the Great conquered much of the known world in a very short time. His empire extended from Greece to Egypt to India. Many kings and kingdoms fell before his skill as a general. Yet it was no army that conquered Alexander. It was Alexander who conquered Alexander. His lack of self control destroyed him. One way this lack of self control was expressed was in his uncontrollable anger. One example of this is when He quarreled with one of his friends who had saved his life in battle. During this heated exchange of words, Alexander killed him with a spear. Afterwards, Alexander was filled with grief and  he even tried to kill himself. The world calls Alexander the Great, but he does not deserve the title. Anyone who can conquer his temper is better than a man who can conquer many kingdoms. We'll look at a few reasons why one who can conquer his anger is better than one who conquers a city.
It is more difficult to conquer our sins, especially anger, than it is to conquer a whole kingdom. In fact it is impossible. True victory over sin can only begin with being born again by the Holy Spirit. Even after this great event, sin dies hard. It is a most stubborn enemy. When you think it is subdued, it attacks again in a most unlikely place. The Christian must wage a constant, bitter war with sin. This war is more difficult than wars against nations and people. But by the power of the Holy Spirit and the use of the means of grace, such as prayer, Bible study, and listening to the Word being preached, we can begin the conquest of such a terrible enemy. I say 'begin to' because no sin is truly conquered until we die and are glorified.  Alexander won some small victories in his lifetime, but failed against the strongest enemy; his sinful nature.
It is better to conquer our anger than to conquer a city because our anger is a more destructive foe. Anger ruins families, marriages, churches, and countries. Anger breeds more anger and violence. A little spark of  anger can became a wild, out of control fire. Anger makes people do foolish things. Anger clouds our mind in a heavy fog. We say words we wish we could take back. We may even injure and kill some one in anger. Uncontrollable anger ruins the one with the temper and those around them. An angry person is defenceless against temptation. Anger destroys much more than wars and battles. It is, therefore, much better to conquer our anger because it is so destructive.
It is better to conquer our tempers than to conquer a city, because it bring a much greater benefit. Patience can calm quarrels and strife. Self control can prevent a war. Being slow to anger can bless and heal friendships, families, and nations. Patience can overlook an offence. Thinking before we speak in anger can rescue us from all sorts of sin. Conquering our tempers will bring us peace in our hearts as we walk with God and trust Him to deal with the sins of others. Being slow to anger is a quality of God. When we are slow to anger, we are acting like our Father in heaven. Conquering our tempers will give us assurance that we are children of our Heavenly Father, for such a virtue is impossible to obtain on our own. The benefits of conquering our tempers are so great. Conquering a city has very few benefits and many negative impacts.
The conquerors of sin are the truly great people in the eyes of God.

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