This verse caught my attention, since I have not always been my same “sweet-natured self” since I have been dealing with POTS in recent days. Proverbs 16:32 says: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.”
“Capturing a city” and being ”mighty” are pictures of worldly success. The point is, it is better to be man of God, who is able to control himself, than to garner what the world calls “success.” Many have built businesses, accumulated money, become famous, etc., but have subsequently lost it all because they couldn’t control their temper, words, appetites or passions.
It’s easy to see how it applies to others. But this same thing is true for me as a pastor. It is more important for me to be a man of God, personally, than to see our attendance and budget increase, lead the state in baptisms, or build larger buildings. Better to “rule my spirit” — to be a man of God in my own personal life — than to achieve religious “success.”
It’s true for all of us. Sometimes we think we need to get out and “conquer the world.” But this scripture tells us we’d best start by conquering ourselves first!