God’s power is extremely evident in my attitude, or should I say, temper. I used to be on edge, and it didn’t take much to provoke me (can you relate?). If you talked about me, then I knew what to say to silence you. If you pushed me, then I’d try to push you down. And if I couldn’t say anything or lay hands on you, then I knew how to hold a grudge. I could walk past you, make eye contact, and still refuse to speak.
Understanding my weakness in this area makes Jesus even more impressive. Though we treat Him horribly and ruin His reputation, He’s still “a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love” (Nehemiah 9:17, New Living Translation). The verses cited above clearly illustrate that God isn’t easily provoked. Matthew notes that some soldiers embarrassed Jesus prior to the crucifixion. Had they treated me like that, then I promise you, they wouldn’t have made it past the verses cited above. But Jesus, demonstrating the power of God, did not retaliate. Certainly, He’s SLOW to anger!
If God’s patience doesn’t leap out of these verses for you, then consider your own life. Think of all the times you messed up, yet God waived the death sentence and gave you another chance. God is slow to anger; what an awesome God He is!
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable … (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, New Living Translation)