On this Faith Filled Friday, I am going to go into an area that I struggle with...
Charity is "not easily provoked" 1 Corinthian 13:5
The word provoked means to give rise to, to stir up the emotions, or incite anger. When you are provoked you are allowing things to incite extreme emotion or anger. To be easily provoked would mean that things incite anger or emotion quickly in your spirit. It is a feeling of frustration that comes over you in a sudden wave.
The result is a quick reaction..
- A quick sharp stare (the EVIL eye)
- A cold front (the COLD shoulder)
- An outburst (yelling)
- A clench of the fist
- A slam of a door
- A hanging up of the phone
- A stomp of the foot
- A pound of the hand on a table
- A striking hand
- A crying fit
- A nasty comeback
- A rolling of your eyes
Some of these reactions are subtle and can go unnoticed. Some of you reading this are
"Silent Seethers" who seethe with anger quietly. (Mind Games!)
You are the type that when your husband or friend does something you do not like or gives you an answer that rubs you the wrong way, you repay them with a nice old COLD shoulder and ignore them for awhile.
I know a few ladies who are like this and it is so silly. One day they are your friend, the next day they act like they never met you in their life. (AKA: Jekyle and Hyde. Moody. Bi Polar.)
Or you may have a friend say something that quickly offends you and you unfriend her on Facebook. A really easily provokable thing to do that is just a click of a button. "There, see how you like that!!!"
Some of you get mad at your children and give the "old EVIL eye". Sour puss face. If you are doing this you are guilty of being easily provoked.
Okay, others of you ladies will hear something and you will get your feelings hurt. That is being easily provoked in your emotions. You are allowing a word or action to alter your mood. You cry, or whine about so and so saying this or doing that. How dare they!
Oh, and what about if someone does not respond to your text, or your email. They must be mad at you, right?
Patience dear sisters, patience.
Do not think your silence goes unnoticed by the one who knows your heart.
On the other hand, my reactions are very noticeable. I yell. I stomp. I am loud, but once I blow my top, I am again smiling and joyous again. I get this wave come over me like my blood is boiling. Usually it is due to many factors pressing me at one particular moment:
- The pot is boiling over on the stove, while the phone is ringing, while the dog is peeing on the floor, while the kids are walking through it, while they are dumping the airsoft bb all over the kitchen, after they wasted their dinner, when the dinner I made was left out all night to spoil, the garbage can is overflowing, and the neighbor is on the phone complaining about something my child said to her child that was not acceptable. Ugh!
I politely end the conversation on the phone, and then I yell!
Call me OLD YELLER!
One morning I asked my husband, "Why do our kids yell so much? Why is it so loud here?"
He says, "Because you yell."
Simple. To the point. That is my husband's style.
"Okay, I suppose you are right. So do I stop yelling?" I ask in an annoyed tone as if I did not want to face my own shortcomings again.
"YES. If you want them to be more peaceful, you must exemplify peace." He explained with such ease like this will be an easy fix or something.
I get this feeling that comes, almost like I will POP! It is a very bad habit. I started in on this habit when I was bed ridden. I would be looking out the front window from my hospital bed and see one of the kids chasing another with a shovel and I would pound on the window and yell so loud they could hear me from in the house. Since I could not get up and run outside to scold them, I got in the habit of just screaming as loud as I could so they could hear me from the other side of the house. I am sure I sound very loud and horrible to my family.
Habits are hard to break. There is an old saying
"It is hard to teach an old dog NEW tricks".
Here is what the Bible teaches us about walking after the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit:
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." Galatians 5:19-26
I believe the Word of God with my whole heart. I know that if it says something-That means it is doable.
It may take time to form a new habit, but it is doable.
I am starting a challenge:
I will call it the 30 day "I can" Challenge
When you want to form a new habit, you need Practice! The more you smile, the less you will frown. The more you practice walking after the spirit in patience and gentleness the less you will react in a bad way. God gives us such great wisdom and tools to apply in our daily lives.
Would you like to join me in the "I can" Challenge?
What I am going to do is print off my photo above, you can download the file here or by clicking on the photo above. I will hang this in each room as a reminder that I have the tools to overcome. I can choose to walk after the Spirit each day. When a sudden emotion comes over, I can reject it, take a deep breath, pray and focus on the fact that Christ overcame in all things-so that means I can overcome too!!!
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13