Love is not provoked (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Why is it so difficult, in a moment of anger, to speak kind words? After lashing out in fury, it is almost impossible to then turn around and say to a spouse, “I love you,” to a friend, “I value you,” or even to an enemy, “I forgive you.” There are two frightening reasons for this:
First, when we are overcome with wrath, we love that wrath more than we love our friends. We love our anger, and if it were not for God’s grace in giving us consciences, our anger would burn against our friends for all eternity. Hell is eternal because God is infinite, and so, sin against Him demands infinite punishment. Sin against us, in our minds, deserves our eternal wrath because we think ourselves to be as important as God Himself.
Second, hatred and love cannot be felt at the same time. In that moment of sinful wrath against your loved ones, you cease to love them—much worse, in God’s eyes, you are murdering them in your heart!
Both before and during your temptation into wrath, you must fix your gaze upon the cross. As you look there, be humbled by the fact that you are merely a sinner saved by grace. Before you can love again, you must be overwhelmed by the undeserved love of Christ shown to you on that somber hill!