Slow To Anger

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"Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

When I see people who anger quickly, I know one of two things is possible. First, I am looking at a non-Christian, a person who is not a member of God's family for God's children are slow to anger. Second, I am looking at an immature Christian who, like a baby, when it does not get its way cries.

The above scriptures from 1 Corinthians define Christian love. But just reading and intellectually understanding the definition of Christian love does not automatically mean that a Christian can accomplish it. It is not that easy. Christian love is something that needs to be developed, practiced, reviewed, evaluated and yes even when we fail, repented. But a good place to start is by being slow to anger, for anger is like being temporary insane, it brings about little good.

Proverbs 19 - Teaches us today?

Proverbs 19:11 "(11) A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression."

Psalm 45:13-15 (Theme: Wedding Song For A King And His Bride). "(13) The King's daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold. (14) She will be led to the King in embroidered work; The virgins, her companions who follow her, Will be brought to Thee. (15) They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; They will enter into the King's palace."

Today's question. How do we develop Christian love?

"And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you." (Colossians 3:12-13).

We begin by practicing these things. You have heard that lawyers practice law. That is because to understand law intellectually, pass the bar exam is one thing, but to truly understand the law, you must immerse yourself in it case by case.

We develop compassion by putting ourselves in the shoes of another, not just in our imagination, but through real immersion. We develop kindness not by just simply being sweet, but by doing beneficial acts for another. We develop humility by putting our pride aside, not bragging on our own accomplishments, but treating our accomplishments as though they were nothing. We develop gentleness by coming to terms with our own inadequacy before God. And, we develop patience through long and deep prayer pouring out ourselves before the Holy Spirit.

Learning Christian love is not easy. To become one who is slow to anger takes one step at a time, moving not away from the light of God, but always trying to move toward the light of God.

Dear God, Sometimes in order for me to overlook a transgression, I must forgive. There are times when I do not want to forgive or I simply do not have the strength to forgive. It is during these times Father that I must look to you for strength and forgive anyway. Amen.

The Newness Of Life Daily Bible Message is designed for those who like to take a short respite from the day's responsibilities to enjoy the contemplation of God's word. This daily message is based primarily upon the belief that to read some of Proverbs and some of Psalm everyday will provide us with great spiritual growth and development when done consistently with discipline.  Phillip Saxton and contibute to Newness Of Life Ministries (NOL) Phillip Saxton, www.NewnessOfLife.com. Phillip can be reached at saxton AT MiTowne dot com

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