Temper

100_2300Expression of anger or irritability; outburst of rage; losing one’s cool

Temper is a weapon that we hold by the blade. James M Barrie

Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth. Chuck Norris   

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk. Joseph Joubert  

   Who has not lost their temper? This happens when we lose control of our emotions. Some situations can be so severe that even a “saint” would have lost their temper. It is very easy for us to rationalize that outside influences are the cause of us losing our cool. It is not easy to accept personal responsibility for our actions.

We lose our temper because we choose to. We respond to things that happen both subconsciously and consciously. Responses that come from our subconscious tend to be automatic in nature. Many times automatic, un-thought responses are not an acceptable response. Our conscious mind needs to be in control when an automatic response is not our best option. “Losing our temper” is a subconscious reaction to a triggering emotional event that results in our losing control. This type of response is primitive and instinctive. It is a part of our programming. Our subconscious mind is ill prepared and should not be allowed to control these situations. Our conscious mind should supervise, control and determine the right response to anything that brings on strong emotional reactions. Our responses should be thought out and appropriate rather than instinctive and automatic. “Biting our tongue”, “counting to ten”, “taking a deep breath” are examples of things we should do to allow our conscious mind time to catch up and respond more appropriately.

We lose our temper in different ways. Sometimes we say things we regret and risk leaving scars in our relationships. There are those who resort to violence. The comic book character, The Incredible Hulk changed from a mild manner person to someone with superhuman strength who was not in control of his actions. Even in milder cases, we say things we regret and have to seek forgiveness as a result. It is much more desirable to be self-disciplined and have the capability of choosing appropriate responses rather than losing “it”. We will have fewer regrets and not have to ask forgiveness nearly as much. Responses become decisions rather than emotional outbursts. We respond in a manner which allows us to choose what we say or do. To do this, we must maintain our cool, avoid verbal conflicts, be prepared to step away, not take things too personally, “count to ten”, “bite our tongues”, whatever it takes. We train and teach ourselves to be in control of our emotions and our responses.

Challenge:  How many times have you regretted losing your temper as soon as it happened? Had you been able to delay your response, even for a few moments, you may have prevented your “eruption”. Losing your temper is something that you can improve upon. It is largely a matter of maintaining conscious control which will allow you to choose appropriate responses instead of making automatic subconscious responses.

Wisdom: The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper. Aristotle

Spiritual: (NIV)

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Ephesians 4:26

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Matthew 6:14

The easier it is for us to lose our temper the more we have some internal issues that cause us to be on edge and easily provoked. If we are not happy, it does not take much to get us angry or upset. The more we are at peace the more difficult it becomes for us to lose our temper. A spirit of love is at the heart of this. The more we look to God, the more we will have his love to help us. It is hard to lose one’s temper when love is at the forefront.

Prayer:  Help me to use this day wisely and in a way that is pleasing to You.

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