Charity Is Not Easily Provoked by Hugh Binning (1627–1653)

~ Its the holiday season – a time when friends and family get together to sing carols, indulge in holiday cheer, pass out hugs, joke, laugh, catch up on the past, fellowship and generally get on each others nerves.

So if you are one of those people who has to “look” forward to not only jokes and hugs but also barbs and jabs from relatives and others, then this short bit from the Scottish theologian, Rev. Hugh Binning might be of help.:

Charity ‘is not easily provoked.’ …  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 ridiculous things sadly, even as children who fall out among themselves for toys and trifles, or as beasts that are provoked upon the very show of a colour, as red or such like.


We would save ourselves much labour, if we could judge before we suffer ourselves to be provoked. But now we follow the first appearance of wrong; and being once moved from without, we continue our commotion within, lest we should seem to be angry without a cause.

But charity hath a more solid foundation. It dwells in God, for God is love; and so 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 tempests there, no winds, nothing to disturb the harmonious and uniform motion: but it is this lower world that is troubled and tossed with tempests, 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.”

~ From A Treatise of Christian Christian Love: John 13:35 by Hugh Binning @

My Two Cents: I always say that 80% of life is just water under the bridge. That means that a huge chunk of what happens in life – the bad stuff that is – just comes and goes and we ought not to get to worked up over it. The best thing to do about it is to just pray it out of you.  It is just not worth getting into a huff over it and then quite possibly destroying future opportunities for a Gospel witness . Just put it all in God’s hands.