Be prepared for aggravation

Posted on · Posted in Sanctification

You should not be surprised when people are aggravating. You should be prepared for aggravation! It is time to stop being shocked that people sin or see things differently than you do.

Isn’t that negative thinking?

No, it is just realistic thinking. The Holy Spirit tells you to be ready to deal with people who are aggravating and irritating. Being prepared can turn potentially negative situations into positive ones. Here some passages that will get you ready for aggravation:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Do not be overcome by evil, but evil with good.  Romans 12:21

A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.   Proverbs 15:1

These are four of many commands about how to address the less inviting sides of people that you encounter everyday.  The Holy Spirit knows that you will have to interact with people who are less than perfect. This is why he gives you explicit instructions about how to respond to aggravation.

You won’t find a biblical justification for responding with: “I can’t believe he just said that!” The Bible tells you that people are born in sin with a bent towards self-centeredness. This should not be breaking news. So rather being shocked and self-righteously outraged, God calls you to bear with the sins of others in love. You are to be kind and compassionate, always ready to forgive. You are to overcome evil with good.  You are to give a gentle answer in response outrageous comments.

I know, this isn’t natural or easy at first. But this is the point. God has a better way than responding to aggravation with more aggravation!

Return love instead. Love is not easily irritated. Love remembers that God’s mercy is daily extended to you when you are unlovely and aggravating.

Make showing God’s love more important than your injured pride.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.