Frustration and Anger: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools Ecclesiastes 7:9 KJV

One day I was sitting at the table, trying to relax after putting the children to bed, and my husband was telling me about problems he was having on the job, problems new converts were having etc. I told him, “Hey honey, I really don’t want to hear about anyone’s problems right now.”   I had reached my human limit. I was tired, and I was frustrated.

At times, we may not seem “ourselves” when we’re under pressure. I don’t mean we curse people or have nasty cranky attitudes because we should not be comfortable with behavior in ourselves that is contrary to the fruit of the spirit or excuse it away with “nobody’s perfect.”  Nonetheless, we may feel distant, feel like being alone, or feel the need to remove ourselves from the place that reminds us of our frustrations just for a little while. It can be rejuvenating to take a break.  This does not mean we are failing in our trial; it just means the adversities of life have come on us so hard that we are a little shell shocked and need to get some air.  This is human.

Severe frustration can be dangerous, however, so never let it build and take a strong hold in your life. You have to do something with frustration because at the base of any frustration is anger. They are two sides of the same coin and if you stay angry, your love Christ will eventually grow cold. This state can last for years. You will start to neglect your alone time with God, and even though you may not completely stop reading the Bible, praying, or going to services, you will lose your cheerfulness, earnestness, and enthusiasm for God and adopt a “whatever” attitude.

As a result, your spiritual growth will be stunted. Once you’re in this lukewarm condition, hypocrisy is easy because the backsliding is not open or evident enough for anyone to point to anything you have done.

One time I noticed a young lady in our congregation who was a little more abrasive than usual. This went on for probably a year. She just was not as sweet and cheerful as she used to be.  I couldn’t put my finger on the problem; I just knew she seemed different. One day she was wearing a blouse unbuttoned low enough to see her cleavage. For her this was unusual.   I had never seen her let down her dress standards like that, and she didn’t seem to care.  I started to mention it to her,  but the Lord told me to ask her instead how she was doing.  It turned out she was having horrible marital problems, becoming angry at God, and giving up on her marriage ever being repaired.  After she checked her anger with God, however, she was able to move on and I’ve never seen those symptoms of backsliding in her demeanor since.

Anger can take you places you do not want to go. The problem lies in how we handle our anger and how long we choose to hang onto it.  If you are angry and frustrated, take these cares to God until you no longer carry the weight of the situation.  Realize that the anger is not helping the situation change.  Refuse to meditate all day on the problem and different angles of the problem.  It will only frustrate you more.

The Bible says that anger rests in the bosom of fools.  Staying angry or giving anger a resting place in your heart hurts no one but yourself.

excerpt from How to Walk on Water

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