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  • Shawn Thornton

Quick-Tempered and Reckless

Wednesday - October 14th

Scripture to Read Today: Proverbs 14:1-35

A quick-tempered person

does foolish things,

and the one who devises

evil schemes is hated.

Proverbs 14:17


Most mornings either my wife, Lesli, or I let our two dogs outside. Lucy, the older of our two little dogs, stays at night in our room with us. Mabel, the younger dog, stays each night with her best buddy, our daughter, Megan. So, after Lucy and I get up and start heading out, I stop in Megan's room to wake Mabel and get her up and out for the day, too.

If Megan is still asleep, I try to get Mabel's attention without waking Megan. Mabel is a mutt but looks very much like a full-blooded chihuahua. And, boy, does she have a short fuse. Most mornings, she wakes up growling, snarling and barking with a sense of anger I have rarely seen in any dog. Her outburst of meanness only lasts about 20-30 seconds, but it is rude and nasty. She goes from the growling and barking in anger to wagging her tail with excitement before she is even out of Megan's bedroom. And, then, if Lucy is waiting on the steps to go downstairs and outside, Mabel immediately turns nasty and mean again. She has to show her grumpy side in the morning. She sure does seem to believe she must be angry and mean as she begins her day.

If someone were to say, "Think of what being quick-tempered looks like to you," I would picture Mabel getting up for her day. She could be the poster child for "quick-tempered."

While my story is about a quick-tempered pet, maybe you only have to look in the mirror to see someone quick-tempered. Perhaps you can be easily angered or triggered by others at any point. Do you relate to something triggering you to the point you feel an immediate rush of rage? Do you feel yourself seething on the inside over something or someone that should be relatively harmless to you?

Generally, a quick-tempered reaction goes way too far and does or says something foolish. Proverbs 14:17 says it so succinctly, "A quick-tempered person does foolish things." Can you relate to that? Have you gotten so upset so quickly that you didn't give yourself time to think before you overreacted? Often when we react with something foolish, we hurt the people closest to us - the people we love the most.

With so many layers of frustration and fear in 2020, more of us than usual have found ourselves quick-tempered. As Pastor Brian Howard taught in his message this past weekend at Calvary, maybe we should step back, take a deep breath, and count to three. Giving even a little space between the source that triggered us and our response can reduce the number of hurtful things we do or say. When something triggers you, physically take a few steps back or lean back, take a deep breath, and then count to three (some of us may need to count to ten or higher).

Let's avoid doing foolish things by reducing harmful words and behaviors in our quick-tempered responses to others.

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