The other day I caught myself saying how aggravated and frustrated I was, not only that but I also realized that I had been using those words quite a bit. I decided that I didn’t like them and that I no longer wanted to use them unless they were absolutely necessary.
Of course aggravation and frustration lead to irritation but irritation and aggravation can also be the result of frustration. I saw through my behavior, my responses to others( both seen and unseen), my more belligerent than normal road rage, and my obvious annoyance with the things going on around me that I was indeed irritated. Enough is enough. No more of that especially if I’m trying to be Christ like. Especially when God has promised me peace.
There is no peace to be found when steam is blowing out of your ears out of frustration or when your eyes go dark and stormy with aggravation.
Though the words irritation, aggravation and frustration have the same ending the words have very different meanings.
When someone is irritated they are annoyed and have been aroused to impatience or anger. For me irritation means one word answers like “Oh”, a disgusted or blank look on my face and sometimes outbursts that dispay my lack of patience. I tend to be the most irritated when I’m hungry, when I haven’t had enough sleep (especially if someone wakes me from a nap), and when someone asks me the same thing over and over again or says my name over and over again although they clearly have my attention.
When someone is aggravated they have been roused to exasperation or anger and usually as a result of being provoked. When I feel I aggravated I usually believe that I have been provoked not by circumstances or the environment but by people. I will admit that I am not the most patient person in the world (anybody who has ever driven in a car with me knows that well, don’t judge me I’m a work in process lol) but there are times that I believe I have been as patient as I can possibly stand and my attempts are met with the indifference, ignorance and/or the ungratefulness of others, that’s a sure and I don’t say this proudly. (:sighs: for effect)
When someone is frustrated it is because they have been prevented from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire. I think one of the best examples is the use of the term “sexual frustration.” Supposedly when someone is sexually frustrated they are in a state of agitation, stress, or anxiety due to prolonged sexual inactivity and/or sexual dissatisfaction that leads them to want more sex or better sex. Therefore a sexually frustrated person is prevented from fulfilling their desire of either more sex or better sex and the result is frustration. It’s not that the person cannot have sex at all it’s just that they aren’t satisfied with some aspect of sex.
Frustration is characterized then by agitation (emotional disturbance or movement as a result of force), stress and/or anxiety. The inability to fulfill whatever desire or accomplish whatever purpose is usually Not the result of lack of ability but of other factors. I find that my frustration results from untapped talent. Sometimes I feel that I am musically frustrated but I can usually overcome that by just singing to myself. Other times I feel frustrated because of writer’s block – I’d like to write a poem or short story or even a blog but then I don’t not for a lack of inspiration or creativity but a lack in drive and motivation. My frustration is self-inflicted because I limit myself. For example I may see what I want (whether something I want to buy or achieve) and though I have the means to get it I either rationalize my way out of it or allow others to talk me out of it. Talk about your feeling frustrated.
Frustration is the -tion that I think I want to shun the most because I see too many spiritually frustrated Christians. They don’t even know that they are frustrated they just see and feel the irritation and aggravation that often time results. All throughout the Bible God has promised us power. Dunamis power, the ability, might or strength to overcome and Exousia power, authority or right to act. Why is it then that there are so many powerless Christians who are burdened down with the cares of life? It’s because they are spiritually frustrated.
God has given Christians the solutions to the problems of irritation, aggravation and frustration and they are Power and Peace. It is because Christians don’t tap into these promises of power and peace that they become spiritually frustrated and irritation and aggravation result. When we’re not working with what God has already given and promised us of course frustration will result.
1. God has promised Power
2 Samuel 22:33 “God is my strength and power: and He makes my way perfect.”
– So if I have God, know God, am a child of God then I have power because He is my power? YES
Mark 11:23 “For truly, I tell you that whoever will say unto this mountain, be removed and cast into the sea; and will not doubt in his heart, but will believe that those things which he says will come to pass; he will have whatever he says.”
-You’re saying that I have so much power that if I say something that is like impossible and I don’t doubt in my heart but I believe it can happen no matter how impossible it will happen? YES (Disclaimer: As long as it lines up with the word of God. For example: You can’t speak someone else’s current spouse into existence as your spouse. Remember the commandments Do not commit adultery and don’t covet your neighbors stuff spouses included)
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
-So God has actually given me a spirit of power? YES
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”
-You mean God works in ways that will exceed what I can even think according to the proportion of power working in me and my life? YES – that would be correct
2. God has promised Peace
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because He trusts in You.”
– So if my mind stays on God and not on the ignorance of others or the fact that someone just cut me off on the highway or the fact that I’m starving and this waiter is taking forever with my food or the fact that I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in life I Will have peace? YES
Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love your law: and nothing will offend them.”
-You mean if I love God’s Word I can get to a place where nothing will offend me? Not the ignorance of others not their indifference not their ungratefulness – nothing? YES
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
– You mean I can have the kind of peace that just doesn’t make sense when everything around me is falling apart because of Jesus Christ? YES
Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me all you that work and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
– Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You mean Jesus wants me to take my problems and my issues with irritation, aggravation and frustration to him? YES And He’s going to give me rest and not stress? YES I don’t even have to figure this out on my own? All I have to do is Let Him teach me? YES
These are only a handful of the verses in the Bible which address peace and power and these few are laced with enough conviction to get me to want to want to grab a hold of my life. I’m going to work at it! See I answered all those questions without even an exclamation mark or a duh lol
On a more serious note irritation, aggravation and frustration are only symptoms of bigger spiritual issues. If like me you’re dealing with these three -tions let it be known that your issues are not with other people or your circumstances or even your environment the issue is you (it isn’t coincidence that issue and is you sound the same).
If our minds are not stayed on God, if we have doubt, if we don’t believe, if we don’t allow ourselves to be taught by Jesus how can we expect these promises of peace and power to operate in our lives? I know for me this will not be an overnight change but I’d much rather have peace and power than feel irritated, aggravated and frustrated.
My picture symbolizing today’s topic is a picture I took this morning at like 6:20 of the sun just beginning to rise. There are few things that are naturally soothing, calming, and relaxing to see but sunrise is definitely one of those things. That’s what Jesus brings – serenity.