Love Is Not Easily Angered
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered...”1
A young man left his employer, a lumber merchant, and began business in opposition to him. For a while he prospered greatly and got many orders that would have gone to the firm he had left. But just when his business seemed to be most flourishing, and he had more orders than he could supply, a great fire in his yard destroyed all his lumber. The day after the fire, he saw his old employer coming toward his office, and he said, “I could have hated him, for I thought he was coming to gloat over my misfortune. But he came to me as a friend in need and said, “I know you are contracted to supply lumber to your customers by certain dates, and this unfortunate fire makes it impossible for you to do it. But my lumberyard is at your disposal. You can have what you need and pay me at your own convenience. Your business may go on as usual.” The young man was overwhelmed by this action; the hatred that he had felt gave place to love.2
Love is God’s gift to us, but it is also one of His greatest attributes. 1 Corinthians 13 has helped us see what love looks like, but also what it doesn’t look like. Love doesn’t look angry. God’s Word teaches us that anger in itself is not sinful, rather it is when we act upon it that our anger becomes a sin. When anger is not contained, we can easily do and say things that we later regret. Relationships are hurt, friendships are ruined, and many times there is no remedy for our actions. Often it is the people we love that are wounded by our anger.
I recall hearing once that “Taking back hurtful words is like going out at night and setting a feather down on the doorstep of each of our neighbor's homes, and in the morning going back and gathering each one again. It is not likely that we would be able to collect each feather, for some might be blown away with the wind, or trampled on and ruined.” Likewise, it is very difficult to take back our angry actions.
Instead of trying to never become angry, the Bible urges us to be “slow to become angry” (James 1:19). God, himself, is slow to anger, but He also “abounds with Love” (Psalm 86:15) proving His patient and “not easily angered” love for us.
Dear Lord, I am so grateful that your patience with me is great. Grant me the ability to have the type of love that is not easily angered. Help me to be forgiving and kind with my words and actions. In Jesus’ merciful name, Amen.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.