Love is Slow to Anger

1 Corinthians 13:3-5 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Love is not a feeling but a commitment directed towards imperfect people, to seek their highest good which oftentimes requires sacrifice.

• One of the biggest barriers to loving others is anger. Anger is a ‘respectable sin’ which we oftentimes try to rationalize. The Bible tells us that love is slow to anger.
• Anger is not always wrong. Righteous anger refers to the wrath of God because of sin and its consequences. But even our holy and righteous God is slow to anger. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness (Psalm 103:8). God is slow to anger because God is giving us time to change. But God’s anger is real. It will come one day. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). God loves the sinner but hates the sin. God’s righteous anger against sin is part of His perfect character. The wrath of God will come upon those who keep on sinning; God’s judgment will consume the enemies of God (Hebrews 10:26-31).
• Jesus was angry when people made the Temple of God into a den of thieves (Matt 21:12-13). To be angry for the right reason at the right time is the challenge. Righteous anger is possible with us but it can be dangerous because most of the time we get angry for wrong, selfish reasons, like when our rights are stepped on. But Hebrews 10:30 instructs us to not take things into our own hands but leave the judgment in the hands of God. It is God who will avenge one day.
When we are slow to anger – we will not be rude, not self-seeking, not keeping a record of wrongs (v.5).
Anger comes in different forms and ways:

Temper-Anger (Love is not rude)

• Our anger comes because of our temper problem. We show our temper in different ways – either we immediately explode or we withdraw in silence. The latter tends to be more dangerous especially in parenting children, but whatever way you release anger, it is still dangerous. Anger is “d” short of danger.
• …everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

It is a mistake to think that by shouting, you can teach people what to do and what not to do. The anger of man will not accomplish what God wants to do in the life of people.

Bitterness-Anger (Love does not keep a record of wrongs)

•Some people have bitterness and anger in their hearts because they have not forgiven people who hurt them.
•In your anger do not sin…do not give the enemy a foothold (Eph. 4:26-27). When you harbor bitterness- anger in your heart, you are giving the enemy a ‘right of way’ in your life. You are being demonized without your knowledge. You have become calloused with your sins; even when you know what the Bible says, you don’t obey it.

•Loving God must be the motivation for you to obey Him and thus manage your anger. Put away all kinds of anger. Put on kindness, tender-heartedness and forgiveness. As you have been forgiven by God, forgive others also (Eph. 4:31-32).

Pride-Anger (Love is not self-seeking)

• When you start to process what makes you angry, you will find out that the root problem of anger is ultimately pride. You get angry because:
> you are hurt when people badmouth or accuse you; > your goals are blocked and you think yours is the best; > your rights and entitlement are violated;

•Pride is self-centeredness, seeking for special treatment and entitlement. When pride enters your mind and your heart, you are in danger of anger.
The antidote to anger is keeping fervent love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter4:8).


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