What are things that frustrate you?
What are things that happen over and over again that continually frustrate you?
What is frustration, and why does it make us angry?
Anger occurs when someone or something is blocking us from getting or keeping something we believe we need.
Why is it important for us to not respond to frustration?
We need to be realistic – we need to expect frustration in this life. Honestly, we expect life to work out the way we want it to, and when it doesn’t (over and over again), we become frustrated.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
tribulation = pressure
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Frustration affects our relationships, our character, our reputation, and our witness for Christ. Therefore, we need to make it a priority to learn how NOT to let frustration control and destroy us and everything we love.
For most of us, we do not react well to frustrations. We want to, and think next time we will, but we don’t.
We know what our response SHOULD BE:
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
God says that when we are angry, that does not give us an excuse to sin.
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
When faced with frustration that would cause us to act out, God instructs us specifically to:
1) Do not act out of the frustration.
2) Be silent and think about what is frustrating you
3) Sacrifice (give up) your right to respond angrily to the situation or person
4) and trust in God – to make things right, as well as to give you the supernatural power to NOT respond in anger, but to respond in LOVE.
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
But we don’t act as we know we should.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.
A city without walls is a city that can be invaded by anything and anyone, it is unprotected and vulnerable not only to attack, but to dominion by the invaders.
Lack of self-control means that anything and anyone can CONTROL YOU.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If you look at this the other way around, this also means that frustrations that are NOT handled the right way produce the OPPOSITE of steadfastness and completion/perfection. We become known as someone who is unreliable, inconsistent and wavering in our actions. Anything can set us off at any time.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
This self-control that we so desperately need cannot be manufactured by our own will – it is a fruit of the spirit.
In other words, we have to be abiding in the vine, submitting to God’s Spirit, letting His characteristics and qualities flow through us in order to have self-control.
Don’t expect to conquer frustration if you are not willing to be submitted to God’s Word and His Spirit on a daily basis.
1 Cor 13:4-7 (esv)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Rick Warren says: Love is self-giving, not self-serving. We get irritated because we think everyone and everything has to revolve around us. Love concentrates on the other person.
Jesus faced constant frustrations, but he never got irritated. He always made time for people.
We get so preoccupied with our own things that we forget that people are the priority in life.
The source of all frustration is that we are not getting our own way. We are being selfish and self-centered.
In other words, we are living according to our flesh and not by the Spirit. At that moment, all we care about is ourselves and how we feel. We don’t care about others or God.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
When we refuse to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, we affect more than the person with whom we are angry. We affect many in the body of Christ. It creates a ripple effect when you strike out, because normally the people affected strike out – against you and others.
Have you ever been in a bad mood and snapped at someone who had nothing to do with the issue?
It also has the effect of turning our minds to all that is negative about the situation and/or the person.
Colossions 3:15 says “And be thankful.” The remedy is to focus on what you DO have, what is good, and to be thankful for that.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
BREAK THE CYCLE OF ANGER
Responding in anger to someone else’s anger is like having a huge wave of water come over you and sweep you out to sea. When you refuse to give in and be swept away by the spirit of anger that is coming off of someone else, you stop the epidemic of anger and loss of self-control in the Body of Christ. If you give in, you will pull others into the sea of anger, and they in turn will pull others in. Or it is like fire – someone on fire touches you and you start burning, and you touch another, and they start burning. The wildfire grows unchecked. But if you plunge yourself into the Holy Spirit and douse the fire, the wave of flames stops with you.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Lao Tzu says:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
It starts with your first thoughts when something undesirable happens to you.
At that moment, you can change your destiny and that of those around you by making the conscious decision to follow the Spirit instead of the flesh.
Psalm 4 says ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
– THINK about WHY you are frustrated, and consider that it is probably your own self-centeredness that is rising up in response.
Take up your cross, and deny yourself.
– Give up your right to respond for the sake of the people around you, your reputation, your own character development.
Trust God to give you His supernatural power, His grace, to not respond, to NOT light that person on fire and start an uncontrollable wildfire.
Buttons are open emotional wounds that others can irritate with their words and actions. If you have a bruise or stitches, and someone touches that place, you will respond out of pain. Remember that when you are frustrated, you are reacting to your own emotional pain, NOT their words or actions. You need to be healed of that fear, or anxiety or pain.
We had a dog that would inexplicably snap at us every so often, and we didn’t know why. One time, we realized that her collar had worn her neck bare and if you touched her the wrong way, the collar would move, cause her pain, and her natural reaction was to snap. We removed the collar, let the spot heal, and she didn’t ever snap. We also now are very diligent to make sure that her collar never rubs her raw again, to prevent snapping.
What is making you snap? Be silent, ponder on those things, ask God to reveal it, and confess it to someone you trust so that you may be healed. Be diligent to keep a watch on yourself so you don’t develop a sore spot again. Be free from the reactions of frustration.