Home » Devotionals » Tempering Your Temper

Tempering Your Temper

by Esel Mae Hilongo (34th Batch)

 Love is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  1 Cor. 13: 4, 5 NIV

My experience as a missionary English teacher here in South Korea convinced me that the things you hate doing is given to you most of the time.

Teaching children is not an easy task and it is harder if you don’t have any background about teaching at all. Your patience will be tested many times. As a teacher, I taught them not only English grammar and so on, but I also taught them religious songs and introduced them to Jesus. My first week was full of challenges and it took me several months before I could adjust to my role.

I had this one student whose behavior I couldn’t quite understand. He is totally different from the other students. Once when I was discussing our lesson for the day, this naughty student interrupted the class by making trouble and hitting his seat mate. I managed to calm myself and warned him to stop doing it before I could do something we would both regret. But he didn’t listen to me and just went on doing it until the other one got hurt and fought back. And so the situation got worst. While they were fighting, I wasn’t able to control my temper any longer and I shouted at them. I pointed my finger at them and said, “Both of you are not allowed to go out! You would stay here as long as I want! That is your punishment!”

I let the other students go out and eat their dinner and so only the two of them were left. As I looked at them, I saw the other boy on his bowed head, looking regretful of what he did. But the very naughty student just looked at me and laughed. It seemed as though the punishment was nothing to him. I was really upset but before I could explode again, I paused and decided to let them out. I then prayed, “Lord, help me. I don’t want to be rude to this student. I don’t want my light to be put out by just my uncontrolled temper. Help me to be more patient with them and help me to understand them.”

After that incident, every time I had a class with them, I would pause first and whisper a prayer to God to help me manage my temper and not take things personally. From that time on, slowly, I was able to control my temper. Whenever this naughty student does another mischief, I would just close my eyes and ignore him.

Thank you Lord for this memory text that reminds us that love is not easily angered and is not rude…and that my students are precious in Your sight.


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