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Righteous Anger: Resist Playing the Fool

Foolishness is prized in some cultures on the first day of April, giving permission to deceive, pull pranks, and use practical jokes. Friends, colleagues, and family members will all try to trick us, so we have to be wary not to fall for it. 

Foolish behavior is all around us, and it can be very tempting to play the fool when emboldened by righteous anger. We see it in road rage while driving. We see it in violent protests. We see it in war across the globe. We see it among families with trauma and abuse.

Justified anger seldom leads to righteous behavior. Our calling to love and to lead makes it clear that practicing wise restraint is the smartest move. 

Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn
and most fools do. But it takes character and
self-control to be understanding and forgiving.
— Dale Carnegie

Righteous anger is all around us, which also means that foolish behavior is flourishing. Wisdom literature provides ample descriptions of those who allow their emotions to erupt into rash behavior that causes damage. 

Playing the fool has reputational consequences, where others recognize a pattern of behavior that refuses to listen and learn in favor of being lazy, toxic, and disruptive. Despite the verbal and non-verbal cues from those around, the fool is profoundly devoted to incompetence, boldly and repetitively making the same poor decisions.

Sometimes they play the fool
So we have to pity the fool
And ultimately pass the fool.

Whenever you are angry, be assured
that it is not only a present evil, but 

that you have increased a habit.
― Epictetus

Anger can become a debilitating habit that grows more dangerous with practice. Very little about anger produces righteousness. Instead, it most often reveals the worst of us by escalating irresponsible thinking and actions that violate our core beliefs.

Becoming easily enraged is a common trait of the fool, proclaiming with righteous anger the offense that has been inflicted and the sinful damage produced as a result.

Educators are blessed with distinct intelligence, but knowledge mixed with foolish arrogance will wreak havoc throughout the delicate ecosystem within our schools. Self-intelligence and Self-Control, however, are massive advantages and are always in high demand! 

A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
— Proverbs 29:11

Anger is seldom righteous because it limits our capacity to consistently love people. 
Anger surfaces from a lack of patience as we keep track of the wrongs done by them.
Anger empowers us to be unkind and dishonorable in words and actions to them.
Anger delights in the painful repercussions and hardships that are inflicted on them. 
Anger compromises safety, discourages hope and undermines faithfulness in them. 

Our calling to love and to lead makes it clear that practicing wise restraint is smart. 

May wisdom abound in your heart and mind this week, my friend, as you choose to listen and learn with humble patience.


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