“A man of great anger shall bear the penalty,
For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.”
You can easily spot them as you travel down the highway of life — individuals who are given to hot-tempers and outbursts of anger. They are among the most careless people on life’s highway.
They drive and maneuver their lives without regard to others. Their fenders are usually stained with the blood of those they have run over. They bear the visible and corrosive marks of the damage caused by bitterness.
Their windshields are cracked and filthy to a vision-obscuring degree. Their mirrors are improperly adjusted because they never look back to consider where they have been or what they have done. Their noisy mufflers signal their approach and their suffocating exhaust let you know they have arrived.
They never park between the lines and they never put a dime in the meter. They travel life’s highway on their own terms and dare anybody to challenge them.
The book of Proverbs offers some keen insight into the character of hot-tempered individuals and practical advice on how to deal with them. It would behoove every person traveling down life’s highway to learn the following defensive driving techniques.
First, don’t bail the hot-tempered individual out of his legal troubles. Hot-tempered individuals are constantly getting stopped and fined along the highway of life. Proverbs 19:19 warns, “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again” (NIV).
Unless the hot-tempered individual changes his driving habits, he will always need to be bailed out. And so, do not use your hard-earned cold cash to bail out the reckless hot-tempered individual.
Second, don’t travel down life’s highway with hot-tempered individuals. Proverbs 22:24-25 warns, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared” (NIV).
The Bible clearly warns us of the danger of traveling with the wrong kind of people. The danger in such associations lies in the fact that we can pick up sloppy and dangerous driving habits that can lead us to the wrong destination and ultimately to wrecking our lives. And so, Proverbs advices that it is best to give a cold shoulder to a hot head.
Third, take a detour around road hazards. Hot-tempered individuals are always stirring up trouble along life’s way. Proverbs 29:22 states, “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins” (NIV). And again in Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel” (NIV).
Hot-tempered individuals create the kinds of hazards that can seriously injure others who are traveling down life’s road. When you see a hot-tempered individual causing trouble ahead, take a detour. Heed the warnings of Proverbs — keep a cool head and stay out of hot water.