Before writing, I always pray for God to give me the message, the one for me and for my readers. After praying this morning, two phrases kept entering my thoughts, “Love is patient” from 1 Corinthians 13, and “be angry, but do not sin,” from Ephesians 4. I wasn’t sure how these two biblical commands were meant to go together until I thought about how tired we are all becoming with what’s been going on.
The restrictions and chaos begun when the pandemic hit just keep hanging on and in some instances getting even worse. Many of us are getting fed up. Anger seems to erupt at the least provocation. Perhaps these verses are just what is needed today.
Patience is hard, whether one is awaiting a future blessing or enduring a present trial. Being reminded that to God “a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past,” (Psalm 90:4) doesn’t help much. In fact, I sometimes resent that He exists outside the limits of time and space to which He in His infinite wisdom subjects His creation.
I wondered if the admonition about being angry and not sinning was aimed at my feelings of resentment against God, but soon realized that my ocassional resentment is countered by my trust that He loves me and His timing is always for my good and His glory. I can never stay mad at God.
However, when we hear the news and look around us it is easy feel angry at those we perceive to be responsible for this mess we are in.
Reading the study notes on Ephesians 4, I saw that righteous anger at injustice and wickedness is okay, but clinging to my anger to the point of bitterness and hatred is not. That’s where patient love comes in.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. …Matthew 5:43-48