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Have you heard the description of violent anger as “flying off the handle”? I’m not sure who first coined the phrase, but it’s the picture of a wooden-handled hammer with a loose head. When the hammer is swung to drive a nail, the head flies off and causes damage to people or things. What an accurate picture of someone who expresses anger inappropriately!
I know I have “flown off the handle” before. My brothers and sister can tell stories about when I was a teenager. I destroyed a few things in my anger. But let’s not go into that here!
Flying off the handle is the exact opposite of patience. In Psalm 103:8, the Lord is described as slow to anger. In fact, listen to 1 Timothy 1:16 describe the patience of Jesus, “But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”(ESV)
In fact, some older translations use the word longsuffering instead of patience. I had a friend years ago who used to say that most people think of the word longsuffering as longsuffering. When they should understand the emphasis as longsuffering. That is the essence of patience – to put up with something or someone for a long time. Aren’t you glad Jesus’ patience is perfect and long?
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.