By Pastor Jomo Cousins, Ph.D.

Proverbs 29:11 (AMP):
11 A [shortsighted] fool always loses his temper and displays his anger, but a wise man [uses self-control and] holds it back.

As leaders, we must understand that we set the tone for our organizations by how we act and how we respond to certain situations. People can learn a lot about our character in those moments. I remember speaking to a friend of mine about a problem employee I had. I mentioned how I lost my temper in the situation, and my friend reminded me of this Scripture. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been allowing my emotions to cloud my judgment.

Based on that experience, I developed a formula to help me manage challenging situations better. I call it ‘The Four P’s:’ Pause. Ponder. Pray. Proceed. Taking time to sift through my thoughts and seeking God’s counsel allows me to respond to matters instead of reacting to them.

Kenny Rogers sang a song called “The Gambler.” My favorite part says:
“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.”

In other words, we must get to a place of self-awareness so we can make sound decisions based on facts, not feelings.

Another great model for handling emotional situations well can be found in James 1:19-20 (AMP):
19 Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; 20 for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us].

Lord, help me to control my emotions and understand that I represent You in my life and in my business, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Except from: 60 Prayers in 60 Seconds, Page 31.

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