I'm annoyed with myself. Want to know why? Because I'm annoyed. All. The. Time.
I'm in a 'season', so they say.
I don't set out to be annoyed, I really don't, but then I run into something that just gets my goat and before I know it, I'm forehead slapping and eye rolling like a fifteen-year-old.
Like the other day at grocery store. I followed the same lady crouch-walking over her cart and shuffling her feet at a snail's pace up and down each aisle.
I was caught behind her in at least four aisles and with each aisle, I became increasingly impatient. It was too busy to maneuver around her and the lack of turn signals on my cart made it difficult for oncoming cart traffic to anticipate my moves. And, "excuse me," wasn't working. I finally skipped rows and doubled back to avoid the congestion. It was becoming obvious other shoppers were becoming frustrated as well.
During one particular pass, I tried to think differently. Maybe she isn't completely self-unaware, maybe she has back problems or issues with her feet or knees. Who are you to be such a sour puss? Get off your high horse and humble yourself. Maybe you should have offered some assistance to the lady. She was obviously having a hard time getting around. I continued to chastise myself through the condiments and coffee until I finished my shopping at the deli.
With a renewed sense of calm, I headed toward the check out lanes. Thankfully, I spotted a short line, did a little jig of happiness and headed that way. Then, as I was turning toward the lane, the crouch-walker sprinted past me in an upright position and cut in front of me in the line.
The same lady that shuffled along and blocked aisles, snarling at anyone that asked to get by, flew past me like a speed-walking Olympian.
Inside, I went into spider-monkey-honey-badger mode. I could feel the chill, or the heat or the pressure or whatever it is Bruce Banner experiences right before he transitions to The Hulk.
Her behavior and disregard for the social norms of how to grocery shop (someone please tell me I'm not alone) sent my blood boiling.
My husband couldn't believe that I 'let things like that get to me," as if I hand selected irritation and annoyance out of my grab bag of available feelings.
"There are rules," I say. "And violating the rules, makes my ISTJ flare up." (Read more about ISTJ's here)
His turn to eye-roll.
Really? This is my fault?
And this incident is one of several that I'll stack up without release because my rule-based mind won't rest until there is justice.
Over bad behavior on someone else's part and an extra few minutes in the grocery store?
Yes, well, sometimes I need a breakdown in order to move on from what everyone else seems to 'let go of' so easily. Not a nervous breakdown, but a spiritual one. Apparently I learn best by sinking to the bottom. Because I'm a fighter. And I can take a lot on these shoulders. Until I can't, then look out.
This is me. But it doesn't follow in God's expectation of me.
Because I cannot latch on to the lie that 'this is how God made me', and 'it takes all kinds', and 'I'm just real - love it or leave it'. Because that's not what the Bible tells me.
The bible says I'm made for love.
1 John 4:20 says,"If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" If I find myself annoyed all the time, by the tiniest thing, I have to look inward. My heart has to start and end with love and when it doesn't, I have work to do with the Holy Spirit. Period.
The Bible says I should study what He wants for me.
Ephesians 5 says, "Find out what is acceptable to the Lord," then lists out very plainly what is acceptable. I can't get all my spiritual nourishment from the internet, radio, and educated guesses. I need to pray, connect with the Holy Spirit, walk in wisdom of the word, learn from wise pastors and dwell in the love of Jesus. Only through diligent study, meditation, praise, community and connection with the Holy Spirit will I come to know and comprehend what His will is for me.
The Bible outlines what is acceptable
Romans 12:9-21 tells us exactly how to behave as a Christian. No where does it say, "be a jerk to the jerks". Let someone else's bad behavior ruin your day? Nope, not there either.
The Bible says God wants the best of me and for me.
John 15:3-7 tells us we cannot do this without Him. And without Him, we can bear no fruit. Conversely, if we bear no fruit, and are annoyed all the time, then we do not abide in Him. And he will give us the best of Him, when we focus on seeking His goodness.
I'd love to say I'll never be annoyed again. But I also can't say that I don't have the resources available to me to make the change I need. I have friends who will pray for me and with me. I have accountability partners who will tell me when I'm getting hyper-agitated. And I have the Holy Spirit to intervene when I lose my way.
And I know I need Jesus. And in order to honor Him, I must admit I need Him.
I may not be able to get rid of my annoyed feelings, but with help of the Holy Spirit, they don't have to be the feelings I express.
I am so glad I got to talk with you as a friend. I pray you were encouraged to examine your heart, open your bible, and actively seek His will for change. Do you have areas that trigger annoyance? What verse brings you humility? I'd love to hear from you and let me know if I can pray for you.