You haven’t slept well. The dog’s barking. A headache is starting its slow rumble. You have to cancel your plans yet again. Your husband asks why you forgot to buy the Silky Softening Shampoo when it was on the list. You snap. You shoot some words back more abruptly than you meant. Now there’s tension. The dog’s still barking, and you grab an icepack for your head.
Can anyone relate to that scenario? I have a good relationship with my husband, and we communicate well … most of the time. But I’m sorry to say I’ve found myself in the ‘Irritability Bubble’ a few times in recent months. We’re human and sometimes we don’t respond the way we should. However, today’s passage gives some keys that can help in those situations.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold … Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen … Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (vv. 26–27, 29, 32).
When you’re feeling angry or irritable, it’s easy to walk away. However, that just keeps the tension brewing and you still have to deal with it when you come back. How much better it is to nip that irritability in the bud by apologising and speaking words that build up. Some issues may need further discussion, but we can take the first step.
God is ‘gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’ (Ps. 145:8). Let’s make it our aim to be more like him.
Dear Lord, it’s so easy to let frustrations get the better of us. Please help us to respond to others the way you would, not with irritation or anger, but with compassion and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Q1 How have you performed on the irritability meter lately? Is there anyone who need to apologise to? What specific action could you take this week to build someone up?
Q2 Mediate on Psalm 145:8. How has God shown his grace, love and compassion to you? How can you respond?