Is not provoked, 1 Corinthians 13:5b (NASB)
It was Wednesday evening and almost time for youth group to start. Randy already knew that Mindy and Cindy we're not going to be around after their recent incident at the last church potluck and it didn't really surprise him when Bill popped in to say that there was no way that Harold or Stella would be showing up either.
“Just thought I'd let you know,” Bill said, “Harold and Stella won't be here tonight as they had to go somewhere else.” “That's too bad.” Randy said, “I know they were looking forward to being here tonight. Where did they have to go?” “Too bed.” Bill told him. “Too bed?” randy asked a bit puzzled, “I thought their bed time was later?” “It usually is.” Bill answered but “Doctor's orders.”
“Doctor's orders?!” Randy exclaimed, “Are they sick? Is it contagious?” “I'm not 100 percent certain, but they appear to be suffering from S.T.” “Ooh, sounds bad.” Randy exclaimed, “How bad is it?” “Well,” Bill explained, “it gave Harold a broken arm and as a result it's in a cast and he can’t come out of his room for several weeks..
“That's bad.” Randy said in agreement. “What about Stella?” “It gave her a broken nose and a very bad head-ache.” Bill claimed, “Furthermore, she’s grounded to her room for several weeks.” “I sure hope I don’t get this S.T.” Randy said “Is there a cure for it?” “I think there is.” Bill said, “but each case is a little different.”
“How did Harold and Stella get it?” Randy asked hoping he would be able to avoid it. “I’m not sure,” Bill told him, “but I think it got started over Stella’s new bicycle.” “I didn’t know bicycles can make you sick.” Randy interrupted. “Apparently,” Bill continued, “Harold was riding it with out permission and he was doing wheelies on it.” “And that gave them S.T.?” Randy interrupted again.
“I think so.” Bill continued, “Stella saw Harold on the bike, lost her temper, ran over and through him off the bike breaking his arm. Then Harold lost his temper, swung his unbroken arm and punched Stella in the nose sending her backwards into a tree.” “And all because of S.T.” Randy exclaimed, “That must be some powerful disease. What does S.T. stand for?”
“It is.” Bill claimed, “It loses it’s self over the littlest things. Kaboom!” “Yes,” Randy agreed, “But what do the letters S and T stand for?” “Oh,” Bill said, “That's easy. The S is for short and the T is for temper. Well, I better get going.” “Wow,” Randy thought to himself after Bill left, I wonder if I could use that for an illustration in my sermon on self control?
Have you ever heard of King Absalom?
Then Absalom sent messengers throughout the tribes of Israel with this message: “When you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, you are to say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron!’ ” Two hundred men from Jerusalem went with Absalom. They had been invited and were going innocently, for they knew nothing about the whole matter. While he was offering the sacrifices, Absalom sent for David’s adviser Ahithophel the Gilonite, from his city of Giloh. So the conspiracy grew strong, and the people supporting Absalom continued to increase. Then an informer came to David and reported, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” David said to all the servants with him in Jerusalem, “Get up. We have to flee, or we will not escape from Absalom! Leave quickly, or he will overtake us, heap disaster on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
2 Samuel 15:10-14 (HCSB)
Absalom was King David's oldest son. He decided he wanted to be king. He devised a plan to get Israel on his side and proclaim himself king and his plan was working. But, this isn't about him, it is about David while on the run. Here is the story an how he refused to act like Harold and Stella.
When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached. He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on David’s right and left. Shimei said as he cursed: “Get out, get out, you worthless murderer! The Lord has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you rule, and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because you’re a murderer!” Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut his head off!” The king replied, “Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses [me] this way because the Lord told him, ‘Curse David!’ Therefore, who can say, ‘Why did you do that?’ ” Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, “Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my life—how much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse [me]; the Lord has told him to. Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimei’s curses today.” So David and his men proceeded along the road as Shimei was going along the ridge of the hill opposite him. As Shimei went, he cursed [David], and threw stones and dirt at him. Finally, the king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so they rested there.
2 Samuel 16:5-14 (HCSB)
As David and his men were running for their lives they met a man named Shimei. Shimei was cursing David and throwing things at him. This, in and of itself, may have been enough to get someone to retaliate. On top of this, Abishai, David's servant wanted David to let him go and cut off Shimei's. David could have said, let's do it. David kept control saying this may be from God and he kept traveling on.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, (NASB) One of the things about love is it's self control, it's not easily provoked, it stays calm.
Proverbs 14:17 reminds us that - A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated (NIV) While Proverbs 16:32 reminds us that Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (ESV)
There are more verses than these in the Bible but these should suffice to get one pondering, so....
Here's Something To Ponder
- What things do you allow to provoke you to the point of loosing control?
- What do you do when you would rather not loose control?