Oh those little things that irritate, bother, frustrate and cause disappointment in us! They are ever-present, non-ending intruders that pick and poke and get under our skin like a splinter that then festers and swells and hurts until we finally deal with it and allow the healing to begin.
What is it that irritates and sets you on edge, causing you to lose your peace, your patience, pushing you over the edge, to “blow your top”, giving someone a piece of your mind; responding in a snappy, hateful, non-Christ like way?
For me it is: rude, ungrateful and sarcastic people, slow cars in the passing lane, people who are always late, people who come shopping five minutes before I close the shop, procrastinations, incompetence: like people who don’t return business calls or the completion of my task hinging on someone else completing theirs, my clothes fitting too tightly (for some unknown reason), road construction traffic jams. Ugh!!!!!
Irritations and irritating people will always be present in our life as long as we are a part of this human race. We must learn to deal with them, because we will never be completely irritant-free. I have found the secrets to dealing with irritations: ADJUSTMENTS!
1. Think before acting out!
Because we are creatures of habit; we have developed and respond and react without thinking. It is most often the “wrong” response and BAM!!!!, we have lost our cool, our blood pressure rises and we say or do something we regret later, completely unconscious of our trigger point. We need to break the habit and cycle of responding unconsciously, think first.
2. Slow down!
Because we are always in a hurry, rushed and falling short of finishing our “to-do” list, our impatience for others that seem to be in our way of completing our tasks causes us to lose it. We need to re prioritize and realize there is no way we can get it “all” done anyway.
3. Lower your expectations!
We put so much pressure on ourselves with unrealistic expectations and we often start our day frustrated and down because of it. So our irritations for the day only escalate and we act out toward others because of it. All this increases the level of pressure within us. Then we all too often expect others to live up to and meet our expectations and we romanticize and anticipate a trouble-free and happy fairy tale ending and usually IT IS NOT!
It helps for me to be reminded that I am not in control of external forces; those irritating and frustrating and disappointing things that happen. I am not in control of others, I can’t wave a magic wand and make others be and do what I want. I am not in charge of my day….. Only God Is! But, what I do have control over is how I allow theses irritants to affect me and the way I respond. God desires for me to follow in His steps, as He leads me in the path on my journey to develop my character and help me to mature and exemplify the qualities of Christ in me. His method of teaching me is through adjustments to irritations.
A perfect example is the oyster and the pearl. You probably know this, but pearls are produced by irritation. The irritation occurs when the shell of an oyster is invaded by an alien substance: ie; a piece of sand. All the resources within the tiny, sensitive oyster rush to the irritated spot and begin to release healing fluids that otherwise would have lay dormant. Over time, the irritant is covered and lo and behold, the finished result is a beautiful, one of a kind single PEARL. If there had never been the occurrence of the irritant first, there would have never been a pearl.
“When all kinds of trials crowd into your life, don’t resent them as intruders and pray them away; but welcome them and realize that they are there to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance…..let the process go on until you have become of mature character in Christ Jesus!”
~~~~~ JB Philips
We are over-comers, we are victorious and we all are a work in progress. Be encouraged and take heart, be strong in The Lord today! Purpose in your heart to be a blessing to someone. Be at peace, walk out this day in love and count your blessings!
June 22, 2014
Tonya F. Henshaw