The LORD Is Slow to Anger
"They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works." (Psalm 145:7-9)
"Hey, watch it, Blaine!" Justin grabbed his forehead where Blaine had elbowed him. Ouch! he thought. Why does Blaine always have to muscle his way all over the court? What a ball hog!
"Sorry, Justin. Are you OK?" Blaine stopped dribbling the basketball and came over to where Justin was standing under the net. "It was an accident."
"Accident, my foot! You just think this game is all about Blaine, don't you?!" Justin kept dabbing at his forehead, half-hoping there would be blood there – maybe that would teach ol' Blaine the Ball Hog a lesson. "Blaine, Blaine, it's all about Blaine. You've got a great two-step strategy, you know – hog the ball and knock everyone else off the court!"
"Justin, really. It wasn't on purpose – I'm just a clutz." With a shake of his head, Blaine handed Justin the ball and walked off the court to the locker room.
Justin opened his mouth to shout something after him, but he stopped when he realized all the other boys at practice were staring at him. "Well, what?" he asked them, as the locker room door shut behind Blaine. "It's about time someone told him off."
Coach Mark walked over and put his hands on Justin's shoulders. "Justin, take a step back and look at yourself and your reactions. The only one in this gym acting like the game is all about him is you, Justin, acting like it's all about you." Coach took the ball out of Justin's hands and motioned for him to leave. "I think you have some business in the locker room, young man. Namely, an apology for being quick to jump to angry conclusions."
Like Justin, have you ever struggled with a quick temper? Often, an angry reaction is wrong in several ways. Justin assumed that Blaine was wronging him, when really Blaine had elbowed him accidentally. But through his anger, Justin could not see the truth. So he got a false understanding of Blaine and ended up hurting everyone. Justin would have been wise to first check his own attitude and goals. Maybe Coach was right; maybe Justin was playing like a ball hog and Blaine just got in his way. There can be more than one side to any story.
When we do wrong or get ourselves in trouble, we really do want God and others to be patient with us. We want them to understand where we are coming from, what we really meant by that comment, or how sorry we really are. We really want other people to be "slow to anger" with us, to give us some time to explain or to try to make things right. But how are you when it comes to being "slow to anger" with other people? By his example, Coach Mark showed Justin how to confront someone who is in the wrong. He did not jump to a false conclusion about Justin. He went over and calmly talked instead of shouting out quick and thoughtless accusations. It is not wrong to respond with anger – some anger is good, righteous anger. But how do you get angry? Do you react quickly and thoughtlessly like Justin, or do you show wisdom and restraint like Coach Mark?
Coach Mark was following an example, too. God's. The LORD is slow to anger, longsuffering in His kindness, abundant in mercies, quick to forgive. Are you?
God is longsuffering and slow to let loose His anger on us.
» Am I quick to lose my temper with people?
» What does a quick temper reveal about my opinions of myself?
» How can I become "slow to anger"?
Truth In Real Life
George Frederic Handel
“I should be sorry if I only entertained them [hearers]. I wish to make them better.”
Born on February 23, 1685, George Frideric Handel loved music from the earliest part of his life. As a child, he would sit at the church organ and create beautiful music to the surprise and delight of those who heard him.
Handel’s father, believing that music would not provide a worthwhile enough career for him, encouraged him to give up music and become a lawyer. But that isn’t what God had planned for him.
By the time Handel was in his twenties, he was the highest paid composer (music writer) in the entire world. He opened the famous Royal Academy of Music, and people flocked to hear his works performed.
Fame was not to last forever, though. Soon, there were newer and better composers; and people forgot about George Frederic Handel. He no longer had the money or praise of men, and he became very depressed over his life. His hands grew crippled, and no one came to hear him play anymore. He believed he was done.
Once again, God had other plans. He was not finished with Handel yet. One day, Handel received an important manuscript from a man named Charles Jennens. The text was written about Jesus Christ, and most of it was drawn directly out of the Bible.
On August 22, 1741, Handel locked himself in his house with Jennen’s manuscript and began writing music to go with its words. Twenty-three days later, he finished the most famous oratorio (a kind of musical) of all time. Handel’s Messiah is still performed today worldwide, especially around Christmastime. The Messiah includes the famous “Hallelujah Chorus,” for which audiences stand as a tradition to honor the God Whom it is about (“for the LORD God omnipotent reigneth!”).
Once again, Handel became famous, and still is famous today, although the experience humbled him.
God honors those who honor Him. Have you devoted all you have to His honor and glory rather than your own?
1 Corinthians 2:9 – Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.