Christian Love 13: Love is Not Easily Provoked

By Hugh Binning

Love “is not easily provoked.”  This is the straight and solid firmness of it, that it is not soon moved with external impressions.  It is long suffering, it suffers long and much.  It will not be shaken by violent and weighty pressures of injuries, where there is much provocation given, yet it is not provoked.  Now to complete it, it is not easily provoked at light offences.  It is strange how little a spark of injuries puts all in a flame because our spirits are as gunpowder, — so capable of combustion through corruption.  How ridiculous, for the most part, are the causes of our wrath! For light things we are heavily moved, and for rediculous things sadly, even as children who fall out among themselves for toys or things of small value, or as animals that are provoked upon the very show of color, as red or such like.  We would save ourselves much labor, if we could judge rightly before we allow ourselves to be provoked.  But now we follow the first appearance of wrong, and being once moved from the outside, we continue our commotion within, lest we should seem to be angry without a cause.

But love has a more solid foundation.  It dwells in God, for God is love, and so it is truly great, truly high, and looks down with a steadfast countenance upon these lower things.  The upper world is continually calm and serene.  No clouds, no storms there, no winds, nothing to disturb the harmonious and uniform motion, but it is this lower world that is troubled and tossed with storms, and obscured with clouds.

So a soul dwelling in God by love, is exalted above the cloudy region.  He is calm, quiet, serene, and is not disturbed or interrupted in his motion of love to God or men.


The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle edition, Loc. 16493. [Language modernized in some places by this site.]

Christian Love 9: Love is Patient and Kind

By Hugh Binning

Speaking of Paul and 1st Corinthians 13:

Now he shows the sweet properties of it [Christian love], and good effects of it, how universal an influence it has on all things, but especially how necessary it is to keep the unity of the church.

Charity[Christian love] “is kind” and “suffers long with”, it is able to remain calm and keep itself from retaliating or expressing resentment and generous and gracious toward those against them and or less powerful. And there is indeed no haughtiness of mind but is patient and long suffering.  It is a great weakness and lack of courage and determination to be angry.  Such a spirit does not control itself, it is in bondage to it own lust, but “he who rules his own spirit is greater that he who takes a city.”  Now, it is much of this affection of love that overrules passion.  There is a greatness and height in it, to love those who do not well deserve it from us, to be kind to the unfaithful, not to be easily provoked, and not soon offended and or displeased by others.  A fool’s wrath is presently known.  It is a folly and weakness of spirit, which love, much love cures and amends.  It suffers much unkindness, and long suffers it, and yet can be kind.

 


Excerpt from The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle Edition, Loc. 16455, [Some language modernized]


Christian Love 10: Love Is Not Envious or Proud

Christian Love 8 : Greatness of Love

Excepts of Mercy

 

Choosing God over Man

By Paul Myers

Recently, I believe, the Lord has been showing me something more clearly.  The Lord, does desire and expect to be our first love.  When you think about it rationally, how could he be anything but our first love.  He gave us life. He provides generously for us. He is our Hero, inflicting pain on Himself, enabling us to have a relationship with Him.   He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Our own sin, the world full of sin and under the enemy’s power to a great degree, and the Enemy himself are opposed to this first love for God.

I believe the greatest obstacle to people making God their refuge, strength, and first love is that we have too high a regard for humanity.  I’m not meaning by this we care too much for humanity’s well being.  What I mean is we have too much esteem for humanity, or people who please us.  We have too great an ambition to be seen by others as meeting and exceeding certain standards, or well-pleasing in their eyes.  We are putting too much emphasis or value on the human judgment of others, whether they are this or that thing that pleases or displeases us.   This over emphasis, leads to superiority and inferiority complexes.  This leads to harsh, judgmental, and divisive ways of thinking, communicating and behaving.  This divides, and causes much animosity, hatred, even wars and death.  This is the pride in man, pride of man.  We are the “God” of our world, passing judgments and setting our own standards for right and wrong.

Humanism has greatly infected Christianity as a whole, I believe, Christianity as including all who claim Christ.  This pride of and in man, has greatly harmed and hindered Christian love and unity.  I hope you understand what I am saying.  I want to write in a way that brings humanity down to its proper place, of lowness and humility, before and under God.  I realize this may seem negative and offensive to many, but this is best for all who honestly seek God, to know humanity’s true state and standing.  I suppose this is part of the offence of the cross, that mankind is at such a low place as far as any good standing that it is required that Jesus live and die in our place, living a life of goodness and righteousness we cannot.  Some, I believe rise up in defense of mankind to a degree, becoming defensive and perturbed when what we are apart from Christ is spoken of truthfully. To me it is not a negative thing, but hopeful, and awe-inspiring of the mercy and love of God, to think of how far we fall short, yet His mercy and love has reached and still reaches down to us.  I believe the more we move off our selves being the focal point of everything, and rather Him being so, we will see much more graciousness, kindness and mercy to one another.