Word for You

Thursday 20 January

‘A quick-tempered person does foolish things.’ Proverbs 14:17 NIV

Keep your temper

When a person loses his or her temper, one of the expressions used to describe their reaction is ‘flying off the handle’. The phrase refers to the head of a hammer coming loose from the handle as you try to use it. And several not-so-good things happen as a result. 1) The hammer becomes useless. Our message may be an important one, but the way we deliver it can make the difference in whether or not it gets the results we want. In other words, when people don’t take us seriously, we don’t get the outcome we hoped for. 2) The hammer head does damage. By flying out of control, it’s likely to damage anything in its path. Words spoken in anger cause wounds, and sometimes those wounds can last a lifetime. James’ words are paraphrased: ‘Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger’ (James 1:19-20 MSG). 3) Repairing both the hammer and the damage might take a long time. In some cases, the damage is so severe that it just can’t be done. Here are some Scriptures to keep in mind before we vent. ‘A quick-tempered person does foolish things.’ ‘Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil’ (Psalm 37:8 NIV). ‘A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offence’ (Proverbs 19:11 NIVUK). ‘Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools’ (Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV). So today, and every day, let's try to avoid hurting others unnecessarily and keep our tempers under control.

What Now?

Ask God to help you keep your temper under control in every circumstance you face today.