“It is better to be slow-tempered than famous.” Proverbs 16:32

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

We should take notice that it is not wrong to have a temper. Temper is the driving force in us. It is the difference between the strong and the weak. Many people ask God to take away their temper. That is wrong - our temper is a gift of strength, and we should thank God for it. Most entrepreneurs have a high temper that gives them the energy and drive to reach their goals and purpose in life.

Temper is like gasoline - the higher the temper, the higher the octane or value. Both can be explosive and dangerous. If we are not careful and in control of the gasoline, it may burn our houses down, but, it can also be very useful and valuable. God tells us to "...be angry but sin not," meaning we should not discard things because they are dangerous, but we should set rules of safety so that we can make good use of their value.

Likewise, our thoughts should not be to get rid of our temper, but to control it. Slow it down - don’t let it slip. Make rules of safety and get the value of the energy it creates. When we are angry we are stronger; we can work harder and get more things done. It not only affects the mind, but energizes our entire body as well. But then, with this same energy we may become destructive. We may hit someone or break things, or say words that will destroy relationships and lose credibility in our community.

So, when we feel it coming up, we must think about what we are about to do, and what effect it will have on us and on those around us. That is managing our temper and using its energy in a positive way. Successful people usually have high tempers, but they have learned to think before they react. That is why they become famous and are known as wise men. Controlling our temper builds character and credibility. So, how can we manage our explosive tempers? Consider the following:

1. Always be aware of its potential danger.

2. Always consider the cost of your reactions.

3. See the value of your temper, and make good use of the energy.

4. Release the excess energy through competitive sports or exercise programs. Burning up calories calms down our anger.

All good men know what it is to have a temper, but they also know how to discipline it. Even plants, trees and flowers have to have their wild growth (temper) trimmed in order to bear fruit. Anything that has value needs to be managed and controlled, otherwise, it will lose its value.

So, be thankful for your temper. Don’t let it heat up too fast or you will burn those around you. S-L-O-W it down. Use the heat to warm the cold hearts around you, and you will become known as a wise man, in control of yourself.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
Temper is a gift, only if we don't have to say "I'm sorry".