Ah, there’s nothing like starting your week with a healthy dose of frustration! Have you ever started your Monday with your head in your hands? Listen – I don’t care who you are, what you do, or how you do it – at some point ALL of us get frustrated. It’s an unfortunate fact of life.
Sadly, in ministry I feel like I’m constantly dealing with frustration. I’ve come to the conclusion that those of us who work in people-centric vocations have two settings: frustrated and VERY frustrated! The problem is that we are all (me too!) uneven – we have imperfect personalities, we’re full of shortcomings, and we have fragile egos that are all-too-easily wounded.
And the thing is that when you rub two uneven surfaces (or, in our case, two uneven people or situations) together you always get the same results: FRICTION. Think sandpaper on sandpaper. Now you get it.
So when working with people – in my case in ministry – we’re always going to have friction and therefore there will always be certain amounts of frustration we’re going to have to deal with. The big question is, of course, how do we deal with frustration when it comes?
The Bible says “in your anger do not sin.” (Psalm 4, Ephesians 4) Isn’t frustration a form of anger? We become angry that circumstances or people just aren’t going the way we want them to go and angry that there is so much friction when we want things to go smoothly. The Bible is permissive when it comes to anger – it’s okay to get mad – but emphatic in its command to “not sin” in our anger.
In other words, it’s okay to be frustrated, but DO NOT LET YOUR FRUSTRATION LEAD YOU TO SIN. You can tell you’ve crossed the line when, out of your frustration, you begin to be bitter, resentful, angry to the point of ill-will or violent thought, when you start to gossip, undermine, backbite, or attack those you are working with or serving, or when you nurture your frustration to the point that it keeps you from doing the things you need to do and being the person you need to be.
Are you frustrated with something or someone today? I know I am – there are hardly any days I’m not. BUT today I choose to use my anger, my frustration, the friction in my life, to smooth me out, to fuel me on toward accomplishing bigger and better things, and to make me more like Jesus.
How about you?
PS – If nothing I’ve said makes sense and you’re still hopelessly frustrated, cut and paste the link below, print out the picture, and use it until your frustration is gone!