Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 14, 2009

Hot-Tempered People

   You can easily spot them as you travel down the highway of life — those 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 dented lives without regard to others. They bear the corrosive marks of bitterness. Their windshields are cracked and filthy. 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 hot-tempered people out of their 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.” Unless hot-tempered individuals change their ways, they will always need to be bailed out. So, do not use your hard-earned cash to bail out reckless and hot-tempered individuals.

   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.” The Bible clearly warns of the danger of traveling with the wrong kind of people lest we pick up their sloppy and dangerous habits and end up at the wrong destination. That’s why Proverbs advices that it’s best to give a cold shoulder to a hot head lest we end up wrecking our own lives.

   Third, take a detour around road hazards caused by hot-tempered people. Hot-tempered individuals are always stirring up trouble along life’s highway. Proverbs 29:22 cautions, “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.” And Proverbs 15:18 states, “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.” Hot-tempered individuals create the kinds of hazards that can seriously injure others. So, when you see a hot-tempered individual causing trouble ahead, take a detour and  heed the warnings of Proverbs — keep a cool head and you’ll stay out of hot water.

Written August 1994


  1. That was a very well written and thought out description and although much had been written long before you were alive. I give you the thumbs up on creativity.

    There is a “however”. Although you describe “hot tempered people” as those not to associate with consider this. If you are weak. You cannot speak for oneself even when it is appropriate. When you physically or mentally weak you fall to the EVIL in this world because quite simply you cannot contest it or are too afraid to speak your mind. For instance would you not find it righteous to defend a child in danger with all of your will and might? If not that makes you a coward. As you describe a person that is hot tempered can lead you in the wrong direction. As can a weak person be persecuted. You cannot be to careful and you do not have to embrace hate to be keenly aware of those who you need to protect. Those could be personal values. Or in certain situations, you are protecting your loved ones. To question is an instinctive reaction that we, as a race, would have not lasted as long as we have had. Being reactive vs. proactive (aka finding out more facts prior to action) is preferable but not the safe route to go.

    I would rather say I’m sorry I have offended you vs. I’m sorry my name, my family, or my life was destroyed in any manner and their are many. I am a good person. I would rather see a smile or anything beautiful before resulting in any sort of physical or verbal abuse. However, quote the Bible if you like, but it’s better to be a little mean rather than through caution to the wind and trust every word, every action, every person you encounter. And if you are wrong. Admit it and say you are truly sorry.

    Before something truly tragic happens to one’s person or person(s) they love and must protect.

    And if you don’t like my words. I don’t care.

    Have a nice day.

  2. Paul…

    Thanks for your comment. There is no question that every person can and will lose their temper on occasion for a variety of reasons. That alone does not make them hot-tempered individuals. The character trait in question in the passages under consideration refers to those individuals who habitually lose their tempers — those who respond to situations and to others in a volatile, unpredictable, and sometimes violent manner.

    The advice of Proverbs is to exercise discernment and caution around those individuals who have habitually demonstrated to those around them that they have short-fuses. These persons can harm more than those to whom their outbursts are directed, they can also endanger innocent bystanders.

    Every Christ-follower should wisely allow the Holy Spirit to govern their behavior, including their speech and how they respond to situations and to the people with whom they interact. The process of becoming more like Christ takes a life-time. I’m thankful He is patient with us when we lose our tempers. May we strive to habitually respond in a Christ-like manner to everyone and to everything we encounter in life and shed the shabby clothes of outbursts of anger. And, may we exercise caution in our relationships with others, especially with those who are habitually hot-tempered.

    Thanks again for your comment.


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