1 Corinthians 13:5… love is not become easily angered
As a child I bet we all learned to “count to 10” before we respond to something or someone who wronged us. Back then, I probably rolled my eyes a few times when being reminded to count to 10. But oh how wise is the wisdom of that skill! It’s just enough time to catch your breath, think twice, and make a better choice… If only we always chose well!
In the last couple weeks, we’ve delved into the “Love Chapter” in 1 Corinthians. Breaking down these verses of scripture has opened my eyes to so many areas of my heart that I need to surrender to God.
Love isn’t easily angered. In other versions of this verse it says love is not: “touchy, irritable, quick-tempered, quick to take offence, doesn’t fly off the handle.”
In other words: Love counts to 10.
So much easier said than done, right?
Anger in and of itself isn’t sinful. The issue with anger is that it so often leads to sin. God allows us to feel and express emotions. The emotion of anger can lead us down the long, dark road of regret. Have you traveled that road? I know I have.
My husband is so very good at the skill of counting to 10. He’s cool, calm, and collected. I just love how God pairs us with our exact opposites! Where I am up and down, he is steady and focused. There have been times where he has literally taken my phone away so I don’t respond to someone in a moment of high emotion. He is self-controlled, and wise. I love that about him. ❤
As I reflect on moments of anger in my past, I see things that accompany almost every encounter with anger. For me, they are: hurt and rejection. Anger has been a defense mechanism that God has been steadily chipping away at my heart for some time. Our God is the Great Healer of all our hurts and whatever ills us – He is able to soften us, and change us from the inside out!
I’ve learned that my feelings of rejection have probably come due to my being adopted. The pattern of hurt and anger in my life has been partially due to my fear of rejection from people in my life. Being ultra sensitive to rejection has led me to make some very poor choices that I’ve regretted greatly.
My “Fight or Flight” response is very sstrong. I’ve had times in my life when I have felt rejected, or feared that rejection was coming. I could feel it in the air. My reaction many times was to sabotage the relationship or friendship and be the one to leave (flight response) first.
I used anger as a way to flee rejection in so many relationships.
Responding this way led to loneliness, despair, guilt, and so much more.
If you fear rejection, instead of running away – run TO Him. He will never reject you!
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. ~Proverbs 18:10
Maybe you respond with anger for different reasons as me. But regardless of how we get to the point of anger, God does not want us to dwell there. When life doesn’t go our way, or we feel rejected or hurt, He begs us to respond in LOVE. Anger divides, but love unites.
As much as I’d love to control what others do, and how they treat me, I can’t. None of us can. But, what we can control is how we respond. By allowing God to take control of our attitude, our emotions, and our reactions to whatever life throws at us.
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. ~ Galations 5:25
We allow God to move in our lives by:
- Grounding ourselves in His Word
- Living a lifestyle of prayer
- By surrounding ourselves with Godly people who will hold us accountable, and encouraging us to dwell with Him.
His Holy Spirit is ever present and powerful IF we allow it to be. When His Spirit moves within us, there’s no denying it. When His Spirit moves and stirs us to love – when we may not feel like it – we need to then take a big step of obedience, and act upon His leading.
With God’s help, we can overcome anger with love. Jesus calls us to bring our anger, our hurts, and our fears to the cross.
Climb that hill, kneel before the cross of Christ, and lay your burden down.
When you feel rejected, know that He accepts you. Just as you are. But, He doesn’t want you to stay that way! He longs to change each one of us from the inside out.
In Him we have no fear of rejection.
Run, don’t walk to Him. His love is enough. Through Him we have the opportunity to live in freedom, and joy, wihtout regret.
He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17
God bless you!