“32 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” NIV
“32 Moderation is better than muscle, self control better than political power.” MSG
“32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” KJV
Someone with self control us better than the mighty? Self control is better than political power? A patient man preferred over a warrior? Surely God’s ways are not our ways because this is very contrarian to the ways of the world.
Let’s unpack this a bit. We are called to put on the full armor of God, including the sword of righteousness, and to go into battle as He calls us. We are called to be warriors. Yet, we are taught that patience is better than being a warrior. Patient how?
Isn’t it the patience to listen to God, the patience to be in His presence and be in alignment with His will? To be sure that we’re in a place to have Him work through us, not go do for Him what we think He would do (like “I’ve got this one God, you can just sit and chill for a bit”)?
Self control really isn’t controlling yourself, it’s surrendering your will to God so he can guide you, surrendering yourself to God so he can use you. Patience is waiting for God.
There’s a difference between taking a city by force and allowing God to take the city through you. Be an active listener with God, not an active doer of what you think you can do for God. Let Him guide you to where he wants you and he’ll give you more to do than you could ever imagine, and it’ll probably involve a couple of cities.
Listen for God, let Him use you for his plan.