21 The wise are known for their understanding,
and pleasant words are persuasive.
22 Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it,
but discipline is wasted on fools.
23 From a wise mind comes wise speech;
the words of the wise are persuasive.
24 Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
25 There is a path before each person that seems right,
but it ends in death.
26 It is good for workers to have an appetite;
an empty stomach drives them on.
27 Scoundrels create trouble;
their words are a destructive blaze.
28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
gossip separates the best of friends.
29 Violent people mislead their companions,
leading them down a harmful path.
30 With narrowed eyes, people plot evil;
with a smirk, they plan their mischief.
31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained by living a godly life.
32 Better to be patient than powerful;
better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
33 We may throw the dice,
but the Lord determines how they fall.
On June 6, 1944, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, was the most powerful man on earth. Under his authority, the largest amphibious army ever assembled prepared to liberate the Nazi-dominated continent of Europe. How was Eisenhower able to lead such a vast army? Part of the answer can be linked to his remarkable skill in working with different kinds of people.
What many do not know, however, is that Ike hadn’t always gotten along with others. As a boy, he often got into fistfights at school. But fortunately he had a caring mother who instructed him in God’s Word. One time, when she was bandaging his hands after an angry outburst, she quoted Proverbs 16:32, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Years later, Eisenhower wrote, “I have always looked back on that conversation as one of the most valuable moments of my life.” Undoubtedly, by learning to control his anger, Eisenhower was able to work effectively with others.
Inevitably, each of us will at times be tempted to lash out in anger. Yet through God’s work in our lives we can learn to control our anger. What better way to influence people than through a gentle spirit.