An Unoffendable Heart; Day 5

by Roxanne Parks on Youversion 

Why Am I Irritable?

A short time into my new marriage, I found myself irritated by something my husband had done “incorrectly.” At least in my opinion. I may have even rolled my eyes. I was irritated. My husband responded “Wow! After 28 years, I am so glad that you finally told me that I was doing it wrong.” I was humiliated at my behavior. There is more than one way to cut the apple. I was easily irritated by behaviors of others that did not match up to my expectations. What small thinking that the world revolved around my opinion of what was “right” and how it SHOULD be done. What arrogance!

What do people do that makes you feel irritated? How about bad drivers or rude people? Does your response cause you to feel offended as well as irritated? How could you think differently to help you feel differently? Could you extend mercy wrapped in patience?  Have you ever been rude? If I am offended or irritated, that is my chosen response, and that is on me. The behavior of others can’t be responsible for my reaction. What you feel and how you respond is based on what you think!!!!

After being completely irritated by the behavior of my teenagers, my husband asked, “If they are always irritating you then why are you so irritable?” I was stunned by this question. I felt so immature. They were sucking me into their issues and I was buying it. When we complain about the behavior of others, it reveals our offendable heart.  If I had chosen to focus on all that was praiseworthy about my children, about the blessings that they are, then just maybe I would be able to navigate those years a bit differently. They were hormonal and certainly needed some grace. My constant irritation with them gave me pause to consider my behavior and responses. I double-timed my prayers for grace, patience and understanding.

An oyster takes what was at first an irritation and intrusion…a grain of sand, and uses it to enrich its value. With time, a beautiful pearl is formed. How can we reframe the irritants of life to allow growth, harvest beauty, and gain wisdom? We have to be willing to open our eyes and our hearts to see the opportunity for growth presented with every irritation. Can my irritant really be my blessing to a greater personal maturity and positivity?

Since testing produces strength and perseverance (James 1:2-4), let the transforming work begin. Ask God to give you new eyes to see and a new strength to become the great pearl resulting from life’s irritations. And remember, “your life is too short and your calling too great to spend time offended.” Forgive, let go and move on to the greater glory at hand. 

Ponder:

Am I easily irritated by others? Am I quick to give grace and forgiveness? What does it say about me when I am so easily irritated?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3‭-‬4

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12:14

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Proverbs 17:9

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Galatians 5:13

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2‭-‬4

Prayer:

Lord, forgive me for being quick to judge another. Help my love to be longsuffering, patience and kind and full of grace. 

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