“Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.” (Prov 3:31)
When I read this verse, my first question is, “Who wants to be like a violent man, anyway? What does he have that is so enviable?”
And then when I am honest with my heart and fleshly tendencies within it, I thought about one of my temptations when I drive. I have said often that if I didn’t have the Holy Spirit living within me that I might be in prison for road rage. I too often want to act out outwardly towards those who drive erratically or don’t drive like I want them to drive. Instead of doing something outwardly, I think violent thoughts.
Now, before you get overly worried about my last few sentences, those thoughts are NOT, “I wish that guy would die” or “I hope he gets in a car wreck.” But I will admit that often I do think, “I hope he gets punished for what he just did to me! He needs to get what comes to come!” And then I might even think, “How come he gets away with that?”
So, in short, I am envying a violent man. Solomon says, “Don’t do that!”
A violent man gets what he wants. He gets his way. A violent man seeks to control others through various forms of violence – physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, etc. As long as there is a violent man, he will have someone or some people he abuses. And as long as he has that, he will have power and control.
A righteous man should not covet control or power which leads a man to violence. He should not give glory to those who manipulate, bully or abuse.