The great maestro, Arturo Toscanini, was almost as well known for his bad temper as for his brilliant musicianship. When members of his orchestra played badly, he would, in a rage, pick up anything in sight and hurl it to the floor. During one rehearsal, a flat note caused him to grab his expensive watch, and smash it beyond repair. Shortly afterward, he received from his devoted musicians a velvet lined box containing two watches, one a beautiful gold timepiece, and the other a cheap one on which was inscribed, "For rehearsals only."
We are warned in Proverbs 14:17 that "a quick-tempered man acts foolishly," meaning that he will do and say things that are ridiculous and foolish.
Anthony Shaftesbury correctly observed, "Temper, if ungoverned, governs the whole man."
The Good News Translation reads, "People with a hot temper do foolish things."
A missionary testified, "When in Africa, I knew a missionary with an uncontrollable temper. One day, he was working with a group of natives. He became angry with one of them, and, with his booted foot, kicked him. That missionary--and I apologize for calling him a missionary--might as well have packed up his belongings and gone home, for that one fit of temper spoiled any opportunity he may have had to help bring the natives to God."
We read in Proverbs 27:3, "A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them." The results of a foolish person's uncontrolled passion lies both heavily on him, and on those with whom he is enraged.
Dr. George Wood wrote, "Such anger is like throwing a cactus at another person. If you hit him, you may hurt him, but, you will tear up your own hands in the process."
Sister Elizabeth Kenny, the famed Irish-Austrian nurse, was asked by a friend how she managed to stay so constantly cheerful. The friend said, "I guess you were just born calm and smiling." "Far from it," laughed Sister Kenny. "As a girl, my temper often got out of bounds. But one day, when I became angry at a friend over some trivial matter, my mother gave me advice that I stored in my mind, and have called upon for guidance ever since. Mother told me, 'Elizabeth, anyone who angers you, conquers you'!"
Warning: "Anger is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind."
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida, 34654