What makes you feel bothered, distressed, jumpy, or unstable? Is it the small, daily irritations piled one on another? Maybe it’s the true storms that come upon you unexpectedly: failed health, relationship troubles, loss of various kinds. Anything that tries our patience or challenges our faith can bring these emotions to the surface. But is there a way to keep a cool spirit when we face a storm in life? How can we remain composed, level, unruffled and tranquil? God’s Word has the answer, no matter what we may be facing:
He who has knowledge restrains and is careful with his words,
And a man of understanding and wisdom has a cool spirit (self-control, an even temper). Proverbs 17:27
The first temptation when we find ourselves in the midst of life’s frustrations, or storms, is to complain. This is when our emotions keep us from the wisdom of careful words. We simply speak our emotionally charged mind! But the passage above tells us that we must choose instead to keep a cool spirit of self-control and even temperament, and much of this has to do with our words.
Complaining has a cost; just ask the young children of a friend of mine. When they choose to complain about their weekly chores, they must put a portion of their allowance in the “complaint jar.” The complaining has become minimal in a short amount of time! But complaining can cost us much more than a few coins: our self-control and an even temper in difficult circumstances.
The next time a storm rolls in, threatening your day with one of the adjectives above, choose to stay in control of your emotions. Try thinking through what you need to do and speaking words that honor God instead of words of complaint. The opportunities will be many!
What storms are you facing? What will you choose today, to be bothered, distressed, and jumpy, or to remain tranquil—whatever comes your way? If you feel tempted to complain in the storm, will you remember the words in Proverbs and ask God to keep your spirit cool?
Amplified Bible, biblegateway.com