In this sermon, part of a series on Proverbs, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, offers sound advice from the Book of Proverbs on how to master your temper. Here are some excerpts:

“…One day Alexander the Great, in a fit of rage, struck his favorite general so hard that he killed him, although he had been his best friend. And he cried out, “I have conquered the world, but I can’t even conquer my own temper.”

How do you get a grip on your temper? Proverbs says it can be done by doing three things:

  1. You REMEMBER: You remember the results; because every time you blow up, there are negative consequences. When you remember all the negative effects produced by anger, that should cause you to calm down.
  2. You REFLECT: You reflect before reacting. Before you impulsively respond, you cool down and postpone your anger. And,
  3. You RESTRAIN: You restrain your remarks. You don’t say all that is on your mind when you’re angry.

Do those sound like three good pieces of advice?…”

“…So admit all the anger and hurt, and then you’re ready for God to fill you with those virtues that Paul speaks of in Galatians 5:22, especially “patience.” “The fruit of the Spirit is… patience.” The more God is in your life, the more patient you’re going to be.

When you squeeze a tube of tooth paste, you expect tooth paste to come out. My point is: Whatever is inside of you is going to come out when you are put under pressure. When the world puts the squeeze on you, whatever is in you is going to come out.

Temper and tension go together. The more tension you experience, the more liable you are to lose your temper. when you’re under a deadline; when you’re feeling stressed out, your ability to handle your temper is much smaller than when you’re not under tension…”


Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.


September 25, 1994

Proverbs 16:32

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)