quick-tempered 8

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.

Are you Smarter than a First Grader? (4)

1st grader 5

My wife joined the reunion of her high school classmates, and they gave her the following problem:
1111 = 0 | 5555 = 0 | 2222 = 0 | 8193 = 3 | 7662 = 2
8096 = 5 | 9313 = 1 | 4398 = 3 | 0000 = 4 | 9475 = 1
6666 = 4 | 9038 = 4 | 7172 = 0 | 3148 = 2 | 2889 = 5
1964 = ?

They did not say what grade this is, but supposedly it can be solved by a first grader. And unlike the previous two problems which require logic and deduction, this one is really simple, so simple that we who are so complicated often overlook the solution since it is so obvious. What does 1964 equal to? Can you guess?

The answer is 2! Why? Need a hint? Don’t try to see if there is a secret code hidden in those 15 four-digit numbers. I was stumped when I tried to discern any relationship between them, or between the digits that made them up. In vain did I try to sum the digits in each number, or do all sorts of mental gymnastics to “massage” the data! There is no need for any of that. Mt 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. (also Lk 10:21) We who consider ourselves wise are too intelligent for our own good, and the simplicity of things just eludes us.

Still clueless? What shape do little children like, that parents feel safe about? “o”! Count how many “o”s there are in each of the numbers and you’ll get your answer! Now do you see? I have two degrees, with distinction, but I hadn’t got a clue! Humbling isn’t it? Reminds me of Jas 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (also 1 Pet 5:5).

Mt 18:3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (also Mk 10:15; Lk 18:17) Hope we all have the simple faith of children totally dependent on their parents.



cassettes 2

Last year we renovated our home, which necessitated moving everything out of its place. Since we have to downsize eventually, instead of moving my library of books around I decided to give them away, except for a few hundred bibles and reference works, to benefit bible school students. I thought my holdings could be put to better use by future preachers and Christian workers than one retired pastor, so about 7,000 volumes were packed into 270 cartons and donated to a local Christian college.

That still leaves thousands of VHS and cassette tapes, consisting of sermons, lectures in theology and apologetics, and all kinds of conferences and workshops on my favorite subjects, taught by the best Christian speakers in my era. I thought while my eyes can’t read small print anymore, I could still watch videos and listen to recordings to learn for a few more years. However, after procrastinating a year, I finally donated the bulk of my audio and video library as well, filling 80 cartons, to the same college.

I still have the equipment to play those tapes, but technological advances, like time and tide, wait for no man. Heb 8:13 … He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. So before the VHS recorders and tape machines disappear from the college library altogether, I gave the tapes away while others can still use them.

I suppose the obsolescence factor is part of the life story for all of us. I remember when we first learned to use personal computers over 30 years ago, the IBM XT with 128-640 KB RAM was the mainstay in the business world. Then came the AT with 256 KB-16 MB RAM and a 20 MB hard drive, which was considered too advanced for home use. Today I have several thousand times more computing power and storage in my cell phone than that big, heavy, clunker.

So as one generation supersedes the previous, I think the best we can do is summed up in Eph 5:15-17 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Many of us act like fools bumbling in life not knowing what the will of the Lord is. I pray that we can wise up, walk carefully, and make the most of our time. Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last (CT Studd).