Less Anger, More Understanding

Michael Beck

“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)

Everyone has a story. Often we see the last act of that story and it isn’t pretty. But what went into the making of that life? How did they become that person? Our willingness to understand another’s backstory does not mean we excuse their behavior; but it can increase our compassion and temper our anger toward them.

When God looks down upon His creation, He sees a mess, but a mess He wants to redeem. Our ways are not His ways, and our thoughts are not His. By turning to our own way and acting out our thoughts, the image of God in us becomes marred. All the corruption in the world stems from a warping and misuse of God given desires. Our Creator understands where each of us has gone wrong, and He knows how to make each of us right. But preceding His hand of redeeming love is a compassion that looks beyond who we became in our ignorance to who we can become through His intervention.

Angry men could only see a wicked woman who deserved to die. “… Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned” (John 8:4,5) But what did Jesus see? A soul worth redeeming. A soul He would give His life for. A soul He had not come into the world to condemn, but to save. He would not move in hasty outrage to exact vengeance on this sinner. He would slowly turn the table on her accusers and ask them to consider their own deeds worthy of death.

Oh that we would give to others what we ourselves want! We could all use a little less anger and a little more compassion directed toward us – no, not so our sin will be excused, but so we might find in Christ the power to “go and sin no more.”

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.