Temper, temper?

My friend, may I ask you a question? If a piece of steel isn’t tempered it can fracture and shatter, right? How should a Christian, therefore, regard the object of his temperance?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

I have at times had a “bad temper.” There are certain things in particular that cause my “bad temper” to flare up. In particular two that readily come to mind. First there are the lost keys. Yes, when I lose my keys I get very frustrated and have been known to prattle, huff and worse when I can’t find something so basic. But the real culprit is computers, however. For some curious reason I’ve expectations of computers that are totally unreasonable. If it doesn’t work as I believe it should I become inflexible in my patience. Did you know where the word temper comes from the Old English “tempriam” which means to be moderate, restrain oneself. The word also has its foundations in the art of hardening and building resiliency in steel. What I find interesting is that these foundational meanings imply that what IS normal is moderation, restraint, flexibility and resilience. Abnormal would be the opposite. The implication is that we come with the good stuff having been tempered by divine design for durability and control. Losing that temper is more likely a choice and not a condition?

When you put temper in this context it makes it more a matter of execution than accident, doesn’t it. If a piece of steel isn’t tempered it can fracture and shatter. The oldest recorded record of tempering steel goes back nearly 3,000 years. How should a Christian, therefore, regard the object of his temperance?

Oswald Chambers writes: “What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. “Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16). Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right into our soul and distracts our mind from God. There are certain attitudes we should never dare to indulge. If we do, we will find they have distracted us from faith in God. Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is what rules our lives. Beware of “the cares of this world…” (Mark 4:19). They are the very things that produce the wrong attitudes in our soul. It is incredible what enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by “the cares of this world.”.”

The apostle Mark writes. “. . .but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” We are constantly at war with the the worries of the world. These are the things that cause us to lose the temper of our spirit, giving us a spirit that is fragile, unable to stand up when we pull it from its sheath and commence the battle. We are built in spirit, tempered by God’s Word and sealed by his grace to be able to confront these things and hold sway. However, when we go into battle with any doubt whatsoever that our temper will remain restrained, resilient and and flexible, it is not difficult to understand how temper is lost. Use it or lose it, as they say. The key is restraint. If we are to keep a quiet mood before God when keys are missing or the computer screen goes black, we must remind ourselves that we are made of better things. If we choose the tempered sword of the spirit at that moment, we win. If we don’t, we lose. It’s really no more difficult than that.

We pray. Heavenly Father, you have designed us to be tempered, but we have so often picked up the wrong sword of the spirit, the untempered one, to fight our battles. Forgive us when we choose to be unrestrained, inflexible without restraint. May your Holy Spirit remind us that a tempered spirit is unmatched in the battle against the cares and worries of this life. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!" <markcbrunner@thispassingday.com>

God bless you for Jesus sake.

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