Do you get frustrated and angry with those closest to you?
Do you have a low tolerance threshold for nagging, questioning, or for people who are wrong in your opinion?
Do you dislike interruptions when you are working or doing something?
Do you dislike it when someone asks your opinion about something and then they do what they want anyway? Do you see this as them being disrespectful of your time?
Do you consider the questions others may ask as nonsense? Do you dislike being asked questions?
Do you feel as though you do not have time for others in your life?
Have you ever pondered how God feels when we know we are supposed to do something, yet we don't or we refuse to do it?
When we refuse to do something or just don't do it, we are frustrating the Grace of God.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:16-21
This passage reminds us that we are not saved by anything we have done or by the works of the law, or our ideas, righteousness or anything other than the Grace of God.
If we consider ourselves above other people, consider ourselves to be superior then we are creating our own law. We are not doing what God has asked of us.
There are extremes of people with lists of do's and don't's and there are people who blatantly refuse to obey God. Both extremes are frustrating. Grace is not an excuse to disobey God or there to suit our own personal desires to be self righteous or personally glorified. Balance and middle ground between these excessive extremes is where we no longer frustrate God's Grace.
Just as when asked questions by others, or asked for input, I consider my opinions, time, thoughts, etc. as valuable and precious. God too considers His Grace as valuable. We dishonor God's Grace that is freely given to us and God feels dishonored when we disobey His Word.
There will always be people who act as sandpaper in our lives. There will always be people who rub us the “wrong” way. Grace, patience and tolerance is part of character development. We may have angry outbursts or lash out and say hurtful things that we know we should not say but we feel justified or provoked to respond in anger. It is a self-righteous anger coming out of us.
When this happens, it is an opportunity to take a serious look at ourselves. We own our frustration and anger. It is something within ourselves, not something that needs to be changed within the person who is rubbing us the wrong way. Maybe in God's Eyes these people are rubbing us the “right” way so that we can see what is within ourselves and see who we really are.
Do we stop to think that our angry outburst or lashing out at the person may be displeasing to God?
Do we understand that our actions can cause God to be angry or displeased with us? That our actions can frustrate God's Grace?
God's Grace does not exist for us to be annoying. His Grace does not exist so we can be self-righteous and pompous either.
God is loving, merciful, and patient. The Bible commands us not to frustrate the Grace of God. We are commanded in scripture to Obey God's Word. God doesn't like self-righteousness, nor does HE like disobedience. Both are displeasing to Him. We are told to cooperate with the work HE is doing in us. It is our choice to cooperate or to frustrate God. It is like playing “Uncle” with God. HE puts us in a position where we either do things His Way or we choose to do things our own way with the risks that we will be disciplined for the choices we make.
The closer we are yoked to Jesus, the more intense the battles, challenges and purification in our lives becomes. It is during these challenges that we see who we really are.
All of us have an unrealistic ideal of the reality of who we really are as we promote or project qualities to ourselves that are not real. We don't like to look in the mirror. We don't like it when God brings someone in to our life to mirror back to us what we ourselves are doing to others.
Do we treat others with grace, love and kindness? Do we really live these qualities when faced with someone we dislike, find annoying, asks questions, interrupts what we are doing or in our perception doesn't listen to or act on our advice?
These challenges, trials, and tests are God purifying us. The trials are barometers of our faith.
The next time someone frustrates, angers, annoys, or interrupts you, before you react with intolerance, anger, frustration, etc., STOP, take a deep breath, pray, consider God's Grace in your life and respond in grace, and love, not harshness, anger and intolerance.
The frustration and anger that wells up within us is a reminder to each one of us about God's Grace. God wants to do a work within you. Allow Him to do what HE needs to do to set you free from frustration, anger, intolerance and other destructive behaviours. When you are free, you can enjoy healthy relationships with the people God has brought in to your life. They are truly a gift from The Father.