Overcoming External Frustrations

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:1-2 (NIV 1984)

February 14 – Overcoming External Frustrations

Begin your time with God in prayer.

Praise God for who He is.  Confess any sin so that nothing blocks your fellowship with Him.  Ask God to use the Spirit and the Word to transform your life 

Let God’s Word penetrate your head and your heart.

Read Romans 12:1-2 out loud. 

"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.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."  Ephesians 4:29-32

These four short verses give us some of the best advice for handling external frustrations.  What comes out of our mouths reflects what is in our heart.  If our heart is rightly related to God, we will choose our words carefully.  When our hearts are bitter and angry, it leaks out into our thoughts, words and actions.  That’s when we need to practice forgiveness –  God’s way.  God forgave us when we didn’t deserve it, and we need to forgive others even when they don’t deserve it.  Forgiveness releases the grip of bitterness and enables us to be kind and compassionate to one another, speaking words which build others up.

Apply God’s Word to your life.

Ask God to examine your heart, your words and your actions.

What do they reveal about your life?

With whom did you speak unkindly?  With whom are you angry and bitter?

Decide to obey God and forgive those who have wronged or irritated you.

Whom can you build up with your words?

To whom does God want you to show kindness and compassion?

Whom do you need to forgive?

Father, I am grateful that transformation is a process because I need transformation.  Help me to forgive those who have wronged or frustrated me so that I won’t be bitter.  Let Your Spirit bring words out of my mouth that will build others up.  Help me to see people through Your eyes today so that I will show them kindness and compassion. Amen.

Related verses to meditate on:

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”  Acts 20:35

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

"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."  Ephesians 4:29

 

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