1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth:
God’s love is not easily annoyed or incited to anger or resentment. It is not irritable, touchy, fretful, resentful, thin-skinned, or easily offended. Love, God’s love in our spirit, is not easily embittered by abuse, wrong, or insults to where it becomes retaliatory and vindictive. Love is not easily provoked especially when you have given kindness but receive the opposite.
Sometimes people can persist in doing things that try to exasperate us, make us feel like avenging ourselves, or retaliating in some way. The word for provoked is a compound word “para” which means alongside and “oxsus” which means to poke as with a sharp instrument. Taken together it portrays someone coming alongside another and poking, poking, poking, and poking continuously until a person is exasperated and stirred to anger and then responds in retaliation because they’ve had enough.
There is an old saying that says, “Where the sea of love is the sparks and flames of wrath cannot easily kindle.” The person that is finally provoked should not have allowed his anger to get to the point it boils over and retaliates. Wisdom would also lead us to stay away from people who enjoy provoking others. Anger resides and remains in long duration only in the bosom of a fool but where love is it dissipates and is kept in check. Anger is a God given emotion and we can be angry and sin not. That means we may feel our passion and emotions of anger which is not a sin but we are not to speak or act out by it and cross the line into sinful behavior. The love of God shed abroad in our heart helps us keep our passions within proper limits. Anger resides and remains in long duration only in the bosom of a fool but where love is it dissipates and is kept in check. We need to let love rule us so that we do not allow the enemy to work through carnal people to provoke us.
Avoid reacting too quickly to what you hear and see James 1:19 and avenge not yourself Romans 12:15. Anger can be our attempt to make something right but it makes things worse. Anger does not make the wrong right. Let God be the one to get justice for He said, “Vengeance is Mine.” Although the word “easily” is added by translators it is implied that a Believer shouldn’t be quick to being provoked to anger. Any Believer controlled by the love of God in their heart will not be prone to or be quick to wrath or easily exasperated by a provoking person. There is a holding power and restraining power in the love of God.
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.