Love is not easily angered...
Don’t jump to conclusions
That is a strong statement. For me, I had a long struggle with this one. Having gone through the many battles I faced for so long, not getting angry was hard.
In the beginning, I wanted to handle my own issues. I wanted to fight and let those that hurt me, get hurt in return. I wanted to let them know what they did to me and how it affected my life, and they were going have to sit and hear it. But, that is not the way Jesus does things. And since I was becoming a new person in Him, things had to change, things had to change in me.
I thought it meant I had to let everyone roll over me. You know, that famous scripture to turn the other cheek and all, let the world just do whatever it wants to do while I sit back and let it happen, not saying a word. I was going through a period of reflecting on everything that had happened in my life and how it got me to where I was. I was linking things from this person, that situation, that move, that sacrifice, to another person, situation, move, sacrifice and so on. The thread that formed my life, the mistakes I made, the bad decisions, and the trust I had in the people really ruined my life. But I had to relearn everything I knew about how to interact with people.
How do you love someone and not ever get angry with them? Well, Jesus said we can get angry, just do not sin. Okay. What does that mean? Well, first, since I was in the new position of changing my life, I had to stop and think a moment as to why I was angry in the first place.
Rethink: Something just happened. It was mean. How am I supposed to deal with that injustice or act toward me? Was it really toward me? This is why our parents and teachers tell us to count from 10 or for me, 100, before acting on or saying anything when feeling angry and wanting to lash out. Just take a breath and think about it. Think about the situation. Think about the person. Think about the outcome. Do you really believe they meant what you think they meant? Or, is it possible there is more to the story? Could the text you just received be a misrepresentation of what they were trying to say? Is there something missing or worded poorly but unintentionally? Perhaps it was just a mistake but you jumped to the wrong conclusions and made a big deal out of nothing; took it from 0-1000.
More times than not it’s a huge misunderstanding. We put more into it than we should rather than considering who they are, what is that persons character as we know it to be, etc. Would they say or do that? Maybe they are not good at communicating in a text, on the phone, face to face... who knows. Maybe you need to take a few minutes and realize it’s not what you think, dig a little deeper and find out what it is they are actually trying to say. It’ll be worth the effort.
As I sat back and thought about what had been going on most of my adult life, I knew there was a lesson to be learned. I also know that jumping to conclusions could potentially destroy some of my relationships. The Bible states it clearly in Genesis 50:20, “what the devil meant for my harm, God meant for my good.” I know I have a history of flying off the handle and jumping to wrong conclusions, which I could have easily done when people were passing their opinions about my “situation,” but I have since learned to hear the voice of the One who teaches me to be a better version of myself. Getting angry and accusing is not out of love, it’s of the great accuser; the devil. It’s not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. As long as we keep our hearts filled with love, our compass will help us navigate toward what is righteous behavior and trust in God in all circumstances. Give it to him and he will make all things work out. In the end, you will preserve your relationships, and God will bring your light as the noon day.