A quick-tempered person is one to be avoided at all costs. Being the object of anyone’s “rage” is no fun. In fact, it can be frightening to say the least. However, if we are one of those who has a “short-fuse” and is prone to lose our tempers, where do we go for a “cure” and learn self-control?
“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” This is what we can call a “high-dividend” proverb. It addresses the need that all of us have to control our speech. Certainly, all of us would like to have control of our words and be even-tempered. But how? And, what do we do to get “it”?
There is a subtle, yet critical, element in this verse. It refers to “gathering knowledge” - especially knowledge which enables us to moderate or control words, thoughts, and feelings.
Those who are wise know when and how to control their emotions and prevent situations that can be embarrassing and harmful to self and others. And that takes “restraint.”
“Restraint” implies the suggestion that we take time to consider what is happening in and around us by giving thought to our words before we let them come out of our mouths. We need to know our values and trigger points. And, this is the beginning of restraint.
All of us have trigger points - those little signals we “sense” before we explode. They are always connected to the values we build our lives around. They include faith and family, right and wrong, good and evil, God and country. Anything of importance to us, when violated, can cause us to “explode.” Be like a pilot before take-off: go through a check-list from God’s Word.
Prayer: Father, help us to understand ourselves as well as You do. Help us to learn “self-control” by claiming Your promises and depending on Your wisdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 17:27-28 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.