Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love is not easily angered (provoked): 1 Cor. 13:5

Anger bothers me. Maybe it ever frightens me a little because one thing I noticed about anger is that the angry person sometimes(often) gets out of control and does something he or she regrets, sometimes forever.

Take road rage for instance. A scary, scary situation. One driver cuts another off in traffic and road rage explodes in a stream of curses, manic driving and sometimes even murder. The angry person probably would never have done anything so heinous had he been in control of himself.

So many people today have a ‘chip on their shoulder’. Nobody is going to ‘dis’ them and get away with it. They go around looking for a reason to be upset. Instead of letting their love show, they let their selfishness show. (Because I think, in the end, anger is a form of selfishness.) Churches split because someone was provoked by some petty thing—(usually an argument over how money is spent—again, so selfish.)

Have you ever been in the grocery store and heard a mother cursing and yelling at her children? Sadly, I’ve heard it a lot! It breaks my heart. Anger is like a seed. It reproduces its own kind. Angry parents raise angry children. Maybe that’s why the Word tells us never to provoke our children to anger!

Someone once said, ‘Either control your anger or it will control you.” I’ve heard people say they ‘inherited’ their temper and can’t help it. Do you think that’s true? Do you think people can overcome tendencies they’ve gotten from their families? Do you know someone who’s overcome a bad temper?


  1. Yes, I know someone who has overcome a bad temper...ME! When my husband and I first got married, I had a horrid habit of throwing things when I got frustrated. But he'd stay so absolutely calm, it would infuriate me. But his calm demeanor has since rubbed off on me. And of course I know that spending time in God's presence has changed me for the better too.

    Great post! Reminds me of where God's brought me from.

    LOVE the cute picture by the way! LOL.


  2. I love the picture! When someone else is angry, being calm is the best way to deal with it, but sometimes it is SO hard to do.

  3. Hi Linda:

    A caveat:

    One person’s anger can be another person’s righteous indignation.

    Do I know someone who’s overcome a bad temper?

    Yes, I think of Christ when he drove the money changers out of the temple. As far as I know, He never did anything like that again.

    As for myself:

    If the cause of the anger is trivial, I always think of this Adlai E. Stevenson quote:

    “You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him mad.”

    I absolutely will not let small things make me mad.

    If the cause of the anger is serious, I always think of the this saying:

    “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

    If someone is deliberately trying to make me angry, I just smile like I know something they don’t know and walk away. This can put fear in their heart without any cost. It also provides time to plan an adequate response without doing something rash and injurious to your cause.

    I have a true story about anger that may be of interest.

    I was teaching a real estate class that went from 6 to 9 pm. At 7 pm the security guard locks all the outside doors to the building. People can get out but they can’t get back in. At about 7:30 pm as I was teaching the class, we all heard a terrible banging on the doors outside the classroom. I went out and opened the door for this irate, red faced man, who shouted loud enough for the whole building to hear: “Why would you idiots lock the doors so people can’t get to their Anger Management class?” He then when storming down the hall looking for his class.

    I came back and told the class, who had heard everything, “I’m not sure but I think the Anger Management classes are held in the other building.”

    I never found out what happened to that guy but I give him credit for at least trying to get some help.


  4. I thought of Prov. 15:1 when I read this post. It's so true! When someone is angry, more angry words are like fuel on a fire but soft words can put the flames out.

  5. Thanks to all for your comments.

    Cheryl, I'm a 'me too'. I grew up in an angry household and had a fiery temper at one time. When I was doing this post I thought about how far I had come --and of course, how far I still have to go. But one thing for sure, once I found Jesus, I learned that being in His peace was so much more enjoyable than 'flying mad'.

  6. Vince,

    I first wrote this blog thinking about 'be angry and sin not' as Jesus did. I remember him getting testy with the disciples a few times you but Jesus NEVER lost control of himself. I think that's one of the keys for 'be angry and sin not'. That, and as you said, 'the size of what made him angry'.

  7. Mez,
    As a teacher, I discovered the truth in "A soft answer turns away wrath". When a student would flame up and want to be angry, I intentionally lowered my voice and refused to let them stir me up. The result was almost always diffusion of the anger. (That, a little humor went a long way.)

  8. Linda --
    Loved your post. I, too, grew up in an angry household and was afraid of anger for a long time (in me and in others). I deal better with it now, but it has taken time.

    Vince -- Your post about Jesus and the money-changers reminds me that there are times when anger is appropriate. Life is not all sweetness and light. Sometimes bad behavior does need to be challenged.

  9. Linda, excellent post. I'm thankful I've not had to live around someone with a temper, although we all lose it once in a while. When I'm at wits end, I try to remember that blowing my top won't help the situation at all! And it's not acting in a loving way. I've found commicating sooner, before things build up, is what really helps.


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