“[Love] is not easily angered.” (1 Corinthians 13:5c NIV)
Why are we so easily angered? Will this make us better friends? Help us get along better? Keep peace in our families? Our work places? Our classrooms? Our churches? Our world?
Not at all. In fact, it will have the opposite effect!
Take, for example, our spouses. Shouldn’t our spouses be our best friend? Then why is it that we get so angry at them? Truly, we should never be angered with our spouse. Do we like to be angry with them? Wouldn’t it be better to live in harmony?
Our Heavenly Father asks us to love and care for everyone, and since love isn’t easily angered, this means that we need to live in harmony with one another.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy.
Several years ago, one of the students in my class threw garbage on the floor. I asked her to pick it up and put it in the trash bin. She refused, defiantly claiming that she hadn’t thrown the garbage on the floor, even though I had seen her do it.
The defiance couldn’t be ignored, and I called her parents and told them what had happened. They came after school, took a look at the garbage, and declared that their daughter would never have thrown something like that on the floor. They then began to accuse me of having thrown it on the floor and then blaming their daughter of doing it!
I had a choice to make. Even though I was being wrongly accused and I could have rightfully defended myself, I decided that I didn’t want to make a big deal out of a little garbage. I chose to not get angry, and I stood up and put the garbage in the trash bin with a smile on my face.
The student stared at me with big eyes, and interestingly, she never did anything like this after that in my classroom. That student learned that it is better to not get angry.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”, or so the saying goes, and this is how the Bible calls us to live our lives. 1 Cor. 13:5c tells us that love isn’t easily angered, and this little piece of advice can save a lot of heartache in our homes, schools, workplaces, churches, and in the world at large.
Remember that even while we were yet sinners, Heavenly Father cared enough about us to send Jesus to pay for our sin (See Romans 5:8). He had plenty of reason to be angry with us. Instead, He showed love and made a way out. I prefer to follow Jesus’ example: To show love and to forgive. Will you join me?
(To access the entire “God’s Love in YOU” devotional series, please click here.)