Dallas Willard writes in The Spirit of the Disciplines: ‘Much of the wisdom and analysis in the book of Proverbs is directed toward wrath, a fundamental and very complex form of evil. “A fool’s wrath is quickly known” (12:16), but “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding” (14:29). Fear and wrath mingle to form the automatic, overt response of the “normal, decent human being” to any person or event that threatens his or her security, status, or satisfaction. Once this response floods in, all of the other tendencies to evil in the human organism begin ticking away, sure to take their course if not somehow deactivated or repressed.
‘That, however, normally does not happen until damage is done, setting off new cycles of wrath and reaction. As we correctly say, “All hell breaks loose.” It is to forestall this that we are advised to be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath (James 1:19–20). Once the world with its load of wrath is unleashed, the larger processes of evil are set in motion. The little detonator sets off the bullet or the bomb. We have then sown the wind and will reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).’
Image Credit: “Whirlwind.”