22 An angry person stirs up conflict,
and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.
23 Pride brings a person low,
but the lowly in spirit gain honor.
24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;
they are put under oath and dare not testify.
Anger and impatience are both self-perpetuating. People don’t plan to make a situation worse, but that is where anger and impatience lead, it is folly to let them be your guide. The angry person believes his problem is someone else’s responsibility, the hot-tempered that his circumstances are to blame. No matter how justified they are, how good their reasoning, how tragic their story – unforgiveness and impatience only lead to bondage. It may feel good to try and force someone to pay, but it will always cost you more than it’s worth.
“Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” The path of anger begins with the promise of control, but its destination is bondage. So also with the path of pride, which promises high esteem, while leading to humiliation and self-loathing. Forgiveness and humility may strike one as weakness and folly, but we ought to judge them not by appearances but by results. Forgiveness is a small price to pay for freedom, and humility for honor.
“The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies; they are put under oath and dare not testify.” Wisdom tells us that to sin is to betray oneself; temptation always exaggerates the benefits while obscuring the costs. The thief didn’t choose to become his own enemy, but that is where his steps brought him. He was too preoccupied with his crime to realize he would become his own victim. The irony of evil is that it “contains the seeds of its own destruction.”