I must admit that the next part of 1 Corinthians 13 that we will be looking at is a tough one. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “[Love] does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” Love is not irritable. Do you ever find yourself being irritable? I’m a lady so I can tell you definitively that I, from time to time, can be very irritable. Also if you catch me when I am super tired… yeah the irritability levels are higher than usual. For others, much like the snickers bar advertisement, they are not themselves when they are hungry. They get a little hangry. Irritability levels go up a little bit. It’s all a part of our humanity.
Our verse today tells us that love is not irritable. What does that mean in the context of our love for God? The King James Version of this verse uses the phrase, “[love] is not easily provoked”. The word for provoked according to the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, is the Greek word “paroxunō” which means to irritate, provoke, arouse to anger, scorn or despise, burn with anger or exasperate.
Put simply, our verse is saying our love should not easily be provoked, irritated, exasperated or angered. In our relationship with God, we should not be easily provoked, irritated, exasperated or angered. That sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Yet from time to time we may find ourselves angry at God. It’s not a sin to be angry. I think the problem comes when we are in denial about our anger. So many people get angry with God but never stop to actually deal with the issue and resolve it.
Our relationship with God, is just that, it is a relationship. People in relationships sometimes do get angry. What do we do when we are angry with God? Do we shut Him out? Do we pretend like nothing is happening and refuse to deal with it? Put on our Sunday face and carry our Bibles like everything is ok and yet deep inside we are seething? What we should do is run to God. I know, when you are angry the last person you want to run to is the one who made you angry. But, when it comes to God, best place to run is always straight back to Him.
Life happens, prayers sometimes seem as though they go unanswered, we have more questions than we have answers and we may find ourselves mad at God. When we do find ourselves in that place, we must turn to God. Only He can give us perspective and help us restore our relationship with Him. Only He has the answers, so avoiding Him does not solve anything. As we grow in our relationship with God and as we learn to trust Him more, we will find that we are not as easily angered by the unknown or uncertainties of life because we have learnt to lean on Him in those times and trust Him.
To get to a place where we can trust God, we need to be willing to deal with the stuff that comes up along the way. It’s when we hide what we are feeling or when we ignore it or pretend it isn’t real that we find ourselves drifting from God. Before we know it, our relationship with God becomes superficial and no longer genuine. Our relationship with God is the most valuable relationship we can ever have in our lives and we get to continue that relationship when we get to heaven.
When I get to heaven I want to be able to run to God and give Him a big bear hug and cry tears of joy and laugh and laugh some more. I don’t want to be standing in the back, wondering if He remembers who I am. I want my relationship with God to be real as I am sure you do too. Real relationships require real people. So let’s stop faking it, and start dealing with stuff and confronting the things that try to get in the way of our love for God.
Love and blessings,