Have you ever found yourself getting frustrated with someone over their behavior? Perhaps a child, spouse, sibling, church member, retail clerk, slow driver in the left lane… I’m sure we all have different buttons that, when they are pushed, cause us to not always be the example of Christianity we desire to be. Today I want to share how we can have victory over our frustrations.
I love being a homeschool mom…
AND I don’t like when things don’t run smoothly…
BUT sometimes that’s just the reality of life…
SO I am thankful I have Jesus to get me through the storms and bring real peace into my soul.
It’s like that children’s song, Whisper a Prayer, with the repeating last stanza, “to keep your heart in tune.”
At times I feel like the Lord is whispering a certain character trait that I need to work on in my life. Lately He has been repeatedly bringing this one to my mind. Thankful our Heavenly Father is such a patient parent; He never yells when we need to fix something. I think that the reality of it is because we can’t do the fixing. Only God can! He doesn’t fix our problems against our will, and we cannot do anything without His help.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13.
So, this catchy character trait is the one I’m currently wrestling with, and I am very excited to share about what the Lord is teaching me.
1. Involving mutual assistance and working toward a common goal. “Every member has clearly defined tasks in a cooperative enterprise.”
Yes, yes, YES!!! Don’t you love the sound of that? I love that our church believes God is a God of order. God can bring order to our chaos; that is a promise He is willing to stand behind. Jesus understood the first law of Heaven is the law of order, and he demonstrated that in everything he did, even folding his bed clothes when he was resurrected and left the tomb. Jesus did not leave a trail of chaos. This has been an awesome object lesson for my children lately. I want them to think about what they leave behind them when they leave the table, when they leave their room, when they leave their toy space, and especially when we leave somewhere we have been guests.
“As He passed through the towns and cities He was like a vital current, diffusing life and joy wherever He went,” DA p.350.
feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others
Someone recently shared with me that when we see the sins of others, we can choose to recognize them as common sins we too may have once struggled with. This helps us to see them/their behavior with compassion instead of frustration. This realization in my home has been transformational in how I view challenges with my children (and even those outside of my immediate family). For example, we were struggling with my oldest to be thorough and attentive. I was catching him not completing his work or finishing his chores in detail (i.e. taking the laundry down but not sorting it, putting laundry in the corner of his bedroom but not hanging it up, not giving the same energy to his school work as usual). I was catching myself getting very frustrated about this new challenge which didn’t seem characteristic of him. When I heard or perhaps finally listened to my Encouragement to be compassionate, I realized my own struggle recently with thoroughness and attentiveness. This was very convicting for me, and I spent much time in prayer for my son and myself. I am excited to say we both are experiencing victory in these areas today through the power of Christ in our lives. This doesn’t always mean it’s your fault your child is experiencing certain challenges, but when we view them and their struggles as common struggles we too have faced or perhaps are facing, we are then able to feel and show sympathy and concern instead of irritability and exclamation.
So in summary, my challenge for us all is to practice COOPERATIVE COMPASSION, noun
Tender desire to assist others despite our common shortcomings (my own paraphrase)
With this approach, I think we will be better able to teach them to experience victory through order in their hearts. We can claim the promise of reaching a common goal and see it flow out into our new behavior!
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 3:14.