1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 13
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
Last week we looked at love not being easily angered and a friend asked how “frustration” fit into this passage. This week I thought that it would be wise to look at how Jesus dealt with frustration.
What are the causes and effects of frustration? We become frustrated when we have a goal that can not be reach either by our own limitations or the actions of others. How we respond to this frustration can have either a positive or negative outcome. A positive response would cause us to find a solution in order to achieve our goal. In school this would be when we have a test to take. A positive solution is to study for the test – one class I spent more time in the professors office than I did in class just to get a passing grade. A negative response would have been to take our frustration out on others because we failed the test. In the work force we often have those who cause us not to meet our goals. To often we will take our frustration out on those we work with or on people that have nothing to do with the situation. How can we have a positive outcome?
How did Jesus handle “frustration”? In Mathew 17 the disciples were unable to heal a boy who would have some type of “fits” and often fall into the fire. Jesus heals the boy. When the disciples asks why they could not heal him, Jesus tells them it was because of their unbelief and then teaches them about faith and prayer. In John 14 Jesus had been with the disciple for some time when Phillip asked him to show them the father. Jesus responds by saying that he had been with them this long and they still do not know him, and then turns this into another teaching lesson. Jesus does not always have a teaching lesson when he becomes frustrated. Matthew 23 finds Jesus on a mountain overlooking Jerusalem and says that he would have liked to gather the children of Israel as a hen gathered here chicks. Jesus would have liked the children of Israel to accept his teaching but he would leave this with Holy Spirit and his followers.
How are we going to handle our frustration? The easy answer is to imitate Jesus but this is difficult to do at times. As we deal with other people our frustration can rise as they hinder the accomplishment of our goals. Without the love of God we will often find it easy to lash out on the people that are involved or on other people. The love of God will help us to realize we are not responsible for the action of others and therefore can not control their actions. God will also he;p us to know that he already has the solution that will be needed, all we have to do is to follow his will. As we learn to imitate Christ we will find our frustration level can be kept in check more easily.
God bless you as you imitate Christ.