A Hot-Tempered Mess - Encouragement Café - May 15, 2017

A Hot-Tempered Mess
By Holly Holton

Monday, May 15, 2017

“A fool is quick tempered, but the wise stays calm when insulted.” >Proverbs 12:16 NLT

When I was pregnant with my fourth and then fifth baby, oh the comments people would make to me, and my huge pregnant belly. “Don’t you know how that happens?” strangers would say to me. “When are you due, any day now? You are huge!” said others to my four-month pregnant self.

It never ceased to amaze me what people would say to a complete stranger, who obviously looked overwhelmed and miserable.

I wanted to let those insults and smart comments roll off my back and I would like to say I took the road of not-insulted, but out of my mouth came those sarcastic replies and not words of grace.

“If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all” the old saying goes. But sometimes, in our offense, it feels good to get the last word in. Better yet, in our defense it feels even better to go on facebook or our blog and whine about all the mean things people have done to use lately.

People will say things to offend us… always. We are all human and imperfect. People have offended me and I am sure I have unintentionally offended others. No one is immune.

I always tell my kids, “You cannot control what people say, but you can control how you respond.”  In those moments of offense, we can point to Jesus with our grace and humility.

Forgiving others, even when we have the right to be offended, is the salt this world needs. It is these moments that there can be a difference between us Jesus girls and those that need His grace.

When we reply back in sarcasm or we write post after post complaining about people, most of the time, we actually end up looking worse than the people we are complaining about.

Learning to control our offense is letting the Holy Spirit settle our heart. Wrapping our identity in Jesus will lead us to not care so much about what other people have to say. 

Being quick tempered is a choice, not a family trait. That truth was so hard for me to come to terms with. I come from a long line of hot heads and it was all too easy to blame genetics instead of relying on God to change me.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. A quick temper is a lack of self-control. And a lack of self-control is not of the spirit God has given us.

Therefore we must rely on the Spirit to change that part of us. We must let go of our offense and replace it with the grace of God.

Jesus had more to be offended about then we ever could, yet he didn’t reply back with a sarcastic comment or go and talk bad about that person to his disciples. It was in his silence, his lack of offensive, that made Him strong and probably more attractive to people. People notice the different. 

Read and pray over Galatians 5:22-23, and ask God to show you how to lay your quick temper down. With the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to live as victims to our emotions!

Dear Lord, help us to release our offense and our right to be offended. Help our tempers to not be quick and help us to show the love and mercy that You have shown us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

© 2017 by Holly Holton.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 15 May 2017.