Sunday, March 9, 2014

Love is…Not Easily Angered

From time to time I invite fellow gleaners to share their gleaning experiences here at the gleanse. My first guest gleaner of 2014 is Mrs. Coretta Collins, one of my closest friends. She is an intelligent and driven professional, wife, and mother. Many call her friend and many call her blessed. This post was originally published February 10, 2014 in EmpowerMoments.

Love is not easily angered. I know it is sometimes easier said than done. However, as a Christian striving to be more Christ-like, it is important to know what love is and is not. Interestingly enough I had been pondering and asking the Lord what to share on this topic and my answer shed more light on what love is and is not.
Have you ever been dealing with a tense or sad situation and the person you’re talking about it with responds with an insensitive comment? This happened to me just the other day and immediately I was angered by the seemingly insensitive and inappropriate comment and I responded as such. Then after I responded, I started to think about it from her perspective and how surely she must not have meant her statement that way. Anyway, I wished I had not said anything about it but it was too late. I had been easily angered and acted on it. She apologized, and I told her it was okay and that I understood how things can be misconstrued  sometimes. I should have thought and processed for a moment before I responded and things would have gone differently.
What would Jesus have done in such a situation? A situation a million times worse than the one I described? John 18 gives us some insight as Jesus goes before the high priest in His trial before He is crucified.
Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. (John 18: 19-24 NIV)
A man slapped Jesus! I’m sure a lot goes through our mind thinking about if it had been us in that situation, but Jesus did not immediately blow up at the provocation. He did not take it lying down either. In a calm manner, He confronted His tormentor with the injustice of his action but He did not want to give the devil a foothold by allowing anger to control Him, although it would have been understandable of Him to respond with anger. Jesus is love, the very definition, and love (Jesus) is not easily angered. (See 1 John 4:8) Now knowing this, we, who are trying to be like Jesus, should also not be easily angered. 
Gleaners, I empower you to not lose sight of who you are and whose you are when faced with anger-provoking situations. I implore you to follow the examples Jesus gives us in being slow to anger and sinning not. I encourage you to remember what love is and is not. Jesus is love and love (Jesus) is not easily angered. 
Lord, help us to remember Your example when we are faced with issues that make us angry. Thank You for Your examples of how to handle anger and for admonishing us not to be easily angered. Calm our tempers, bridle our tongues, and help us to not sin in our anger. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

What lesson have you learned from a situation in which you have been easily angered?

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