Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19
If you have ever maintained a website or a blog, you know the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach you get when it crashes. My site at benzowithdrawalhelp.com took a nose dive yesterday. (To say I was frustrated was an understatement.) I know that being frustrated is a danger signal that I am walking on thin ice and need to do a third step and give my life and will over to the care of God, immediately, and as many times as necessary.
When we are frustrated, it means a person, place or thing is not behaving the way we want them to. We aren’t in control and that rubs us the wrong way. When we feel frustrated we can pause, give it over to God and then go through a quick check list to help us regain our emotional footing. 1. Did I create the situation? If so, what can I do about it? (Galatians 6:7) 2. What can I learn from this situation? (Romans 8:28) 3. Rustle up a sense of humor and a giggle about it. (Proverbs 17:22) 4. Give thanks for the situation. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) (Giving thanks is usually the hardest for me to do. Yesterday I just really wanted to drop the F bomb a few times and cry.)
We can ask God to help us be more loving and calm if we find we are still a bit crispy around the edges and not at peace. (1 Corinthians 13:5) When we are full of love we are not easily angered or frustrated. When we are full of love the world doesn’t have to revolve around us and our big (but fragile) egos. A few minutes after I prayed for help to God about my frustrations, the doorbell rang. There stood one of my dearest friends. He had a bigger problem than I had! I invited him in and helped him for a few hours. By the time he left, I felt at peace. Service to others is a great way to get out of self-righteous indignation. Frustration is a very human emotion. However, for those of us that have struggled with booze or other addictions, or even psych med withdrawal, we must be on our guard to not indulge in it. It’s a warning that we have elbowed God in the ribs and are taking control.
F.R.O.G. Practice: Be mindful of when you are frustrated today. Go down the checklist outlined. Do your answers help you? Give your fears, frustrations to God. Let God take them from you so you can be full of love and grace instead.