Good morning, InspyRomance readers. Here we are at part five of our study of the LOVE chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.
Today we are going to focus on one with which I have the most difficulty…
I made the above meme about as irritating as I could. It’s troublesome to the eyes, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s just my eyes.
Maybe other things make you irritable…
- socks left on the floor
- dishes not put away
- shoes left in the walkway
- laundry still sitting where you placed it last week
- trash not taken out
- the lid left off the toothpaste
The list could go on and on.
Sometimes for me, it’s none of those things. It’s something internal that’s just not quite right, though I can’t put my finger on a specific reason. Sometimes I wake up that way, and other times it appears throughout the day.
Mostly my irritation comes from my expectations not being met. TRUTH!
I expect my family to pick up their own socks, shoes, clean laundry. I expect them to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. I expect the trash to be taken out by the person who is responsible to do so. I have my own tube of toothpaste (nope, I do not share with my hubby–the joys of dual sinks in the bathroom), so that one’s not a problem. And when those expectations don’t get met, I become irritable.
The Greek word here is paroxunó. It means to provoke, irritate or arouse anger. Literally, it means to jab someone (figuratively) and stimulate their feelings (emotions).
Hmmm… so the New Living Translation says, “is not irritable” while others translate it as, “is not easily provoked.” Others say, “it is not easily angered.”
Am I easily angered or provoked?
At times, probably, but mostly I’m laid back. I’m a reforming passive-aggressive. I’ve known for a long time about my passive-aggressive tendencies, but a few years ago I read a book/article about the negative aspects of that character trait. It is as destructive as aggressiveness. It harms relationships.
Assertive is my goal. State my feelings/objections/views/opinions in a timely manner and move on, instead of holding everything in to keep the peace and then blowing up at some unexpected moment. And yes, I have done this. Sadly.
But wait, this is not a post about my sins and short-comings.
Or maybe it is.
As I’ve typed each one of these posts (and I expect it to continue), I have learned new things about myself. Some I don’t like. Some aren’t so bad. But all have been enlightening.
Back to Love is not irritable, angered, or provoked…
Well, maybe not. Sort of.
I know when I’m irritable (because my expectations are not being met), I lose sight of the love.
Or maybe I question it.
Does my family realize that their laziness means more work for me? (Oh, that sounds utterly selfish!) Don’t they love me enough to make my life easier? Or at least not harder?
Do I love them enough to pick up the stray sock, push aside the discarded shoes, take out the over-full trash without comment? (Ouch!)
Now this is not to say that a word of admonishment, especially toward learning children, is not necessary. It is. How else will they learn right from wrong unless we show them? But the occasional sock, shoe, full bag of trash is not something to grow irritable over.
You know what usually happens to me? A bunch of little things add up. This child’s sock, that dirty plate, a shoe here, a different shoe over there… The combination becomes irritating. And then I forget to show love. (Ouch, again!) *sigh*
So I issue a challenge to you (and to me) to show love when the shoe trips you, or the Lego attacks your foot (they come out of nowhere), or the trash is overfull. Even in admonishing our children to be mindful, we must show love. Even when the hubby (or wifey, if we have any male readers) leaves the cap off the toothpaste or “presses our metaphorical buttons” for the millionth time. Even when… (you fill in the blank). Show love.
Just imagine how many times God has to look past the stray socks and shoes in our souls to see who we are deep down, to love us.
May your day be blessed and your heart be full of love,