Feeling the angst of frustration? Want to get rid of it? Think about this: Some people can deal with the very same problem and never feel frustrated. So why is it irritating you so much? Here are 8 steps for finding true and lasting inner peace no matter what is going on around you and who is causing it.
Excerpts from this video:
Step 1: Identify what is making you frustrated.
Take a look at the true cause of where your anger is coming from: Look at yourself! Here are some very common sources of frustration:
- I feel frustrated whenever someone doesn’t change fast enough to suit me.
- I want others to improve in order to make my life more pleasant.
Step 2: Acknowledge your frustration as a sin.
When we are frustrated, our attitude is not very loving, is it? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes our behavior when we are living in love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)
Ask God to help you see them as he sees them, through his loving eyes.
- See the offender as weighed down by bags of garbage (the abuse that’s been inflicted on them, the rejection and misunderstanding and poor role modeling, etc.)
- Look past the garbage to see the real person underneath.
Step 3: Repent. Turn away from the feeling of frustration.
To repent means to change your mind. Choose to accept people the way they are even though you don’t like everything about them. What if they never improve? Could you still accept them that way? If they do begin to change, is it okay if they don’t change fast enough? What if their lack of improvement or slow growth causes more problems? If you try to repent under your own will-power, you won’t get very far. Ask the Holy Spirit to intervene in your life and give you help. God gives us supernatural help!
Even after deciding to repent and forgive, the feeling of frustration usually remains. Why? To discover the answer, we move into:
Step 4: Recognize that your desire for people to change is another sin.
Love means seeing the good in others while not holding their sins (their bags of garbage) against them. Because we do love them, we want to see them become free of their garbage. For their own sake, we wish they’d change, and then we get angry when they don’t. To overcome this frustration, we need to stop looking at the garbage. But how?
Step 5: Learn what is the root of your desire for the other person to change.
Usually, the root is Fear. We’re afraid of getting hurt again and so we reach the conclusion: “I should be upset with them for not changing.” This really means: “I must hurt that person now because he might hurt me in the future.” And so we hurt them by being frustrated with them. They don’t even have to know we’re frustrated, as long as we feel frustrated, we feel like we’re getting some sort of revenge.
- We’re offering conditional love: “If you change, then I will be happy and loving with you.”
- The people causing our problems need our acceptance. To give this to them, we need to get in touch with God’s love for them.
- When we love them with His unconditional love, they experience God’s healing touch.
Step 6: Discover the true source of your happiness.
Our happiness does not depend on others and how they treat us. We don’t need constant kindness from others to feel good. Our happiness depends on how good our relationship is with God. God is our true source of joy and inner peace and a calm, non-frustrated spirit.
- We’re happy because we’re partners with God making a difference in someone’s life.
- We’re happy because God will never do anything to hurt us.
- All other sources of joy only last short time.
But knowing this is not enough. The next time a problem occurs, we’re unhappy and frustrated again. It seems like we’ll only be happy if the person hurting us changes or leaves us alone.
Step 7: Kill off all illusions about other sources of happiness.
We need to become a sign of the true, loving and healing presence of Jesus. John 12:24-26 says:
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
Your desire for the unloving person to love you must be nailed and killed, and with that you will be killing the source of your frustrations. Then, you will experience the growth of much peace and joy.
8. Follow Jesus all the way to the Cross in order to reach the Resurrection.
To truly love others, we embrace them despite their garbage. Jesus, in order to take our sins to the cross, had to embrace us while we were still laden down with bags and bags of garbage. Embracing the bearer of garbage is truly following Jesus all the way to the cross ~ all the way through the Cross to the Resurrection!
The other person might not change, but you will. You will find inner peace and joy no matter how much you suffer. You will no longer be damaged by the hurts inflicted upon you. You will no longer have any reason to feel frustrated!
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