"[Love] … is not easily angered." (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV)
The Bible says, "Love is not easily angered." It doesn't say "Love never gets angry at all." In fact, sometimes the loving thing to do is to get angry. Jesus became angry in the temple when he saw his Father's house being run like a marketplace.
At the same time, we can love someone and still get angry at that person. Sometimes the anger may be righteous and sometimes it may be selfish, but the people we love the most are the ones most likely to make us angry.
God placed the capacity to get angry in your biological makeup. Being angry is not a sin; it can become a sin if we allow it to push us into destructive behavior. But the emotion itself is not a sin. The Bible says even God gets angry.
You can't avoid anger, but you can learn how to control it. You can resolve to manage it so it becomes an asset rather than a liability. This means you quit making excuses and justifying your anger: "That's just me. I just blow up. I can't control it."
Anger can be controlled. Have you ever been in a fight with someone and things are getting pretty loud, but, then, the telephone rings? Notice how quickly you can manage your anger! You have a lot more control over your anger than you think you do. Resolve to manage it, and, then, confess, "I can control it with God's help."
Talk About It
Jesus became angry in the temple when he saw his Father's house being run like a marketplace, but you woud never think if Jesus as an angry man. What does that say about the argument: "That's just me. I just blow up. I can't control it."
When is the last time you lost your temper? Would you handle it differently after today's lesson?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.