DVThe Key to PeaceA hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. —Proverbs 15:18 RSVEveryone displays a temper some times. How sensitive are you to the things that may provoke you, and how can you diffuse the situation?
How have you nurtured the patience and gentleness to deal with difficult people or circumstances?
A hot-tempered person is like a volcano--a volcano in which a heart pent up with anger seeks the chance to erupt. And when eruptions come, they may very well hurt the people they love the most. A patient person is like a stream whose incessant flow can quench the burning fires and calm an inflamed heart. When Rehoboam was king of Israel, his subjects came to ask him to lighten their loads. Rehoboam took counsel from his young friends and replied with harsh words, "My little finger shall be thicker than my father's waist! And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke" (2 Chronicles 10:10-11). Certainly, the Israelites could not accept the cruelty of their king and so returned home.
The famous philosopher Socrates was known for his good character. Although he married a hot-tempered wife, he was always able to contain himself. One day, his wife had a fit of rage and opposed him with a stern voice and countenance, looking as if she would swallow him alive. Seeing no reaction from Socrates, she picked up a bucket of water and poured it over his head, making him wet all over. Socrates, looking up as though nothing had happened, said, "Heavy rain follows loud thunder."
The harsh and cruel words Rehoboam spoke towards his people aroused their disgust and led to a swift division of the Davidic kingdom. Socrates' gentle attitude enabled him to live with a hot-tempered woman. Two similar examples with two different outcomes. This teaches us a valuable lesson: a hot temper is the source of dissension, while patience is the fountain of peace. Jesus Christ is the King of peace, and we are His disciples who believe in the gospel of peace. We must strive to be gentle people; not only should we turn the other cheek, we should also work upon the higher principle of returning good for evil. In this way, we build up the kingdom of peace upon earth.