Proverbs 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.
Back before conniving banksters realized that you can bilk the entire world by printing unbacked paper money that people are forced to use by law, and then charge them interest on it, merchants would carry bags of weights with them to do business, since all transactions were either carried out in barter, or with coins minted by different nations or even private entities. It was of vital importance that weights be honest and just: a crooked merchant, like the central bankers today, could have weights that were slightly heavier than “true” weight, thereby requiring more gold in trade, without the buyer being aware that he was being stolen from.
The reality is that our lives are much like that merchant’s bag of weights: we have a “bag” of attributes, and if we pass them off as something they are not, we are not only lying to those around us, but we are bringing dishonor to our God. If we try to appear more faithful than we are, we are being deceitful. If we portray ourselves as more spiritual than we actually are, we are lying. It is not good to pretend to be something we are not; the correct course of action is to simply be the right kind of person, without the facade and the deceit.
Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
There is something distinctly honorable about an older man that displays the qualities of a man of God. I’ve often spoken about a pastor with whom we had a meeting in August: Pastor Rowlette celebrated his 60th anniversary as the pastor of that church in June, and the day we first visited his church, he was celebrating his 90th birthday. Now that was an encouragement, and no mistake! If an old man, born in the middle of the “Roaring 20s,” could stick by the stuff for all those years, then my little problems seem so petty and irrelevant in comparison. I’ve been alive just slightly more than a quarter of the years that he has. Old men that serve God are an inspiration and an encouragement to younger folks, at least those of us who pay attention.
But, just as a fair woman without discretion is like a golden jewel in a pig’s snout, a gray head without godly wisdom and righteousness is always disgusting. That’s why the verse says “if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Younger folks like myself are looking to the example set for us by the older folks that have lived life and have served God, but it can truly be a discouragement to see those that have fallen by the wayside and who have made themselves a stumbling block through a poor testimony. Please, older folks, remember that we are watching, and we need the encouragement to keep going, and your testimony of service to God can be a huge blessing to some young person just starting out.
Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
There are many other verses in Proverbs that relate to this topic, but the implication is clear from this passage alone: a person who can control his temper is a very strong and powerful individual. I remember working occasionally around a man who seemed proud of his hot temper. Of course, he thought he had an excuse; after all, he was Irish. So, I guess like you’re only entitled to regular mini-breaks if you’re a smoker, you’re only permitted to cuss up a storm and scream and shout and throw a tantrum if you’re Irish.
The reality is that a temper is simply a tool that someone can use against you. Poor control of your temper is not a respectable thing: it is a weakness. Someone that can cause you to become angry has a tool that they can use against you. Self-control is the virtue to be sought, not a “memorable temper.” As always, the Bible itself says it best:
Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.