#610 (27/5/22) GOD IS NOT EASILY ANGERED
‘Love…is not easily angered…’ (1 Corinthians 13:5)
God is slow to anger with us. He is patient and kind to all every day. Imagine if God were quick to anger with this world! Imagine if God were quick to anger with you and me! God can literally do those bad things that you wish would happen to those people who do those bad things, but He doesn’t! God is slow to anger. He gives time for people to repent and come to Him. This is how God treats us. He puts up with a lot from you! He is slow to anger! God repeatedly describes himself in Scripture as “slow to anger:
‘And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”’ (Exodus 34:6-7)
As you can see, God does express anger and judgment, however, the point of this passage is that He is loving and slow to anger to thousands of generations.
Those who know God’s patience and slowness to anger will, inevitably, be like that with others. If we are quick to anger, do we really know about the cross of Christ?
If we are quick to mercy and peacemaking, this is an expression of how God has loved us in Christ. Psalm 103 puts it so well:
‘The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Psalm 103:8-12)
God’s slow anger is birthed out of His love. His love is described as, ‘as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him’! True love is slow to anger. God’s slow anger means that He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He forgives. He keeps no record of wrongs. Quick anger lashes out at wrongdoing. Godly anger is quick to forgive. Are you resting in the peace of God’s love and forgiveness? If you’ve failed in your anger, is this making you more appreciative of God’s love for you? Do you feel ashamed of your past? May each of us receive the forgiveness that our Father offers to us and, may we go out with this heart for others.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?
3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group
On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at the next aspect of love.
Please read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Last week we looked at how 'love is not rude or self-seeking'. This week, we are considering the next attribute of Christian love: 'Love…is not easily angered…’
There are innumerable things which tempt us to anger and I’m sure that you have your own list, here are a few examples:
The church community is not doing things as you think they should.
A neighbour whose behaviour is inconsiderate?
A member of the church who does that annoying thing?
A child who will not behave as you would like? They won’t listen to wisdom?
A colleague who is creating a bad atmosphere in the workplace?
Not being appreciated for what you do?
People not turning up for things that you’ve organised and you have made the time for.
You are left out of something - a party, baby shower, being a bridesmaid…
You don’t get the grade you think you deserve or the praise and bonus at a work review.
A car or a bicycle cuts in on you and you are outraged.
War and atrocities in the world - The war in Ukraine, I’m sure, makes us all angry.
Society promoting sinful ideas and practices that we see as harmful.
i. LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED
‘Love’ (Agapé) is to give regardless of merit or demerit and is not dependent upon emotion. This cannot be expressed in uncontrolled outrage! In essence, Christian love is to treat people as God treats us. He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve and He sent His Son to save us.
ii. THERE IS UNGODLY AND GODLY ANGER
We see in the Bible that God does get angry. There is godly and ungodly anger. We can simply be angry about the wrong things. We can be angry about the right things. We can be angry about the right things but in the wrong way. God wants to teach us to deal with anger in the right way and allow it to be a force for good rather than destruction.
iii. GODLY ANGER IS SLOW ANGER
A rocket has the potential of going into space. However, if the energy is let out too quickly, it’s just a big bomb! It's right to be angry about the right things, but this is to be prayerfully and thoughtfully expressed. As James writes:
‘My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.’ (James 1:19-20)
iv. DEFUSE YOUR ANGER
Finally, it's really important, that we go into our day filled with God's peace rather than full of worry and anger. At the beginning of each day, may we do as Paul encourages us:
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:4-7)