God’s love flows powerfully with peace, grace, truth and tenderness. And in God’s perfect and holy love, God also gets angry. Angry at our evil. Angry at our prejudice. Angry at our pride. Angry at our meanness and cruelty towards others. Angry at our ignoring the needs of the needy around us. Angry at our selfishness. Angry at our greed. Angry at our lust. Angry at our lies. Angry at our sins.
Yet in His love, God is never short-tempered, cranky or mean-spirited. God’s anger is never based on changing seasons, circumstances or moods. God’s anger against all sin and all evil is based, as it always has been, on God’s truth, righteousness and love.
Love is not easily angered – 1 Corinthians 13:5
God doesn’t snap at us. God doesn’t snap under pressure. God doesn’t respond defensively. God’s anger is never based on feeling hurt or ignored, frustrated or tired, busy or annoyed, frail or frazzled, sick or moody. God desires each of us to be more like Jesus in our character, thinking, speaking and behavior – including in our reactions to anything and anyone that could make us angry. To be like Jesus, we have to do it God’s way. Love is not easily angered.
Confession: Anger is one area – in my frail, flawed and finite state – that God has to work on constantly. God must continually redirect my often-too-self-focused perspective so that I will respond more slowly, more maturely, more lovingly. Which, of course, is a lot more like Jesus than smacking people upside their fool heads! Most of the time (But not always!) when I feel the anger stirring up in me, I’m able to keep it as an inside-my-head-only-storm. However, my anger is still very real, and the stuff screaming around inside my head can be very ugly. Even if no one else ever sees it or hears it. And God reminds me: Love is not easily angered.
By God’s love and grace, I have learned to invite God right into my anger. Right into its ferocity. Right into its nastiness. And God is not afraid to come in! By inviting God into my anger, He lovingly leads me into the eye of my own storm. Into the calmer place of thought and focus. By inviting God into my anger, I am letting God know: I want to do things Your way, God! I need Your help! Get in here, God! Take control of my head! Take control of my thoughts! Arrrrgggghhh! Take control of my mouth! Help me be more like Jesus! Yep! That’s pretty much the script of my dialogue (okay, monologue at that point) with God.
By inviting God into my anger, I get over myself much more quickly. I can view the people with whom I’m angry with what I call mercy-eyes. I stop looking at myself and all the reasons I’m angry. The mercy-eyes that God gives me are able to see others with love and compassion. With mercy-eyes I can view and understand the people and the circumstances from a truer, calmer, more eternal perspective. Love is not easily angered.
May we each invite God right into the midst of our storms to do His deep, loving, calming and transforming work within us. That is the way of God’s love. Love is not easily angered.