You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
And Jesus Loved Him
In one of the tender verses in the entire Bible, a young, rich ruler came to Jesus to ask Him how he might inherit eternal life, and before Jesus said anything to him, it was written that “Jesus looked at him and loved him” (Mark 10:21a). It didn’t matter to Jesus that the young man would reject believing in Him, perhaps because he didn’t want to give up his own idol of money (Mark 10:22), but Jesus still loved him. I was with someone once who was trying to tell a young man about Jesus, and the young man rejected the message, but the man I was with didn’t look at him with love, rather with disgust. Jesus shows that this is not the right reaction. Even when we give a reason for the hope that we have in Christ, we should do it with gentleness, respect (1 Pet 3:15), and, yes, love because that’s the way Jesus felt about people.
Replace Anger with Love
What if you and your friend had an argument? It would be hard to love them at the moment, wouldn’t it? But we are told that a friend loves at all times (Prov 17:17), meaning in the good times, the bad times, and all of the in-between times. A brother and a friend are born for such times as these. We know that love covers a multitude of sins, imperfections, and mistakes (Prov 10:12; 1 Pet 4:8), and since none of us are perfect, we all need that love for our friends. How much different would our lives be if we see people through the eyes of God? How different would our reactions be if our reaction was in love and not anger? We all must remember that God loved us while we were still His archenemies (Rom 5:10) and unworthy sinners (Rom 5:8).
Love in Action
It is so much easier to get angry than it is to show love, but anyone who doesn’t get angry quickly shows godly wisdom (Prov 14:29), and the slow-to-anger person can quiet any contention (Prov 15:18). The solution to anger is to replace it with love. If we really value the person we are getting angry at, we’ll stop and think before we react harshly and live to regret our words. Let love replace anger. Let love be displayed in action by restraining our natural tendency to get even. We have to trust God to avenge every wrong someday, even those things done to us (Rom 12:19).
A Closing Prayer
Great Holy Father, thank You for the love that You displayed by allowing Jesus to die for me. Your righteous anger was placed on Him for our sake, and the wrath that we deserved was placed on Him because You loved me enough to have Your Son die for me. I thank You for Your love in all this. In Jesus’ Name I pray.
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