One of the most often repeated mistakes in life is reacting in anger quickly and because we do, making very foolish choices. That is what today's proverb warns against. We are told that a quick-tempered man acts foolishly. This quick-temper means to have a temper that is hasty in what it says and does. It is a man filled with impatience and has what a Hebrew would refer to as a "short spirit." The idea behind this concept is a man who is not truly in control of his spirit. When something happens that irritates him - he reacts quickly. He is weak in his moral disposition - and therefore will be prone to outbursts of anger and temper.
The real problem this poses is that the man who is so "quick-tempered" is unable to make wise decisions. Wise decisions are made because we can step back from things and see them from God's perspective. The quick-tempered man cannot do this. He reacts quickly to problems and irritations in life. The quick knee-jerk reactions he makes gets him into a world of hurt. A fool does not think through what he is about to say or do. A wise man considers his words and steps and often resists saying or doing things that wisdom counsels against doing and saying.
The second half of this proverb says that a man of evil devices is hated. The words "evil devices" is the Hebrew word, "mezimmah" which means a plan or thought. This term is used to describes the evil plans, schemes, and plots of humanity that are contrary to the will and Word of God. How is this related to the first half of this proverb? The plans and schemes that arise out of anger and rage are more than you can ever imagine. So often a person who has committed a murder or some other heinous crime did so because he or she was acting in anger. Someone has deeply offended them - or hurt them deeply - and instead of acting with wisdom and tempering their reaction - they want to act. Some grab a gun and shoot someone, killing them in the heat of their passionate outrage. Others blow their stack and then simmer in their anger until it moves them to hatch a horrible plot that they will wind up regretting for the rest of their lives. Just as the proverb says, the one who acts on this evil plot or scheme is hated. It does not matter what originally motivated them to these actions, others hate the outcome of their hatred, anger, and evil devices.
We are reminded in this proverb that patience IS a virtue! We are to be slow to anger - and rich in mercy - just like our God and Father. These things will keep us from reacting in our anger and doing something truly foolish.