Q. I tend to be quick-tempered but do not know how to deal with it. Any suggestions?
A. First, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about quick or hot-tempered:
• Prov 14:17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.
• Prov 14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.
So quick-tempered is folly and acts foolishly.
• Prov 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
• Prov 22:24 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man,
• Prov 29:22 An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.
Hot-tempered, in addition, stirs up strife.
Second, how do you counteract being quick or hot-tempered?
• Proverbs 29:11 A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.
• Eccle 10:4 If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.
The opposite of foolish is wise, and you need to face rising temper with composure. How do you apply this practically?
To begin with, prevention is better than cure, so plan ahead and anticipate what might happen under different situations, and how you would respond under those circumstances. When one of those scenarios unfolds, act according to plan so you won’t be caught off guard and just react uncontrollably. Next, pause before acting. Take a deep breath and count to three. Listen carefully and paraphrase what others are saying. This not only clarifies understanding, but prevents you from jumping to defend yourself.
The longer term solution is to learn wisdom from the word of God, especially the Proverbs. Develop the habit of a daily walk with the Lord and practice what you learn each day. Character isn’t changed in a day, but over time the Lord will polish your rough edges so that you become more and more like Him, who was never quick-tempered but always directed by the Holy Spirit. Hope this helps.