Do people frustrate you?

Posted on · Posted in Anger, Sanctification, Worry

The person who is insensitive dominates your thinking. Your ungrateful kids or spouse provides hours of self-pity. The so-called friend who is constantly irritating you keeps you awake at night. The political figure who is against everything you stand for makes you see red. When you reject the Spirit’s control you give all these people control of your life.

Is this what you really want? I didn’t think so.

All of the above examples mean you are being controlled by your flesh and not the Spirit of God. In Galatians 5 Paul tells you to walk by the Spirit, so that you will not gratify the desires of your flesh. If you desire the control of the Holy Spirit then you will eagerly pursue his fruit. (See Galatians 5:22-23) But if you listen to your flesh, God will not be honored. Your flesh is not interested in obeying God or helping you. Your flesh longs for the days when someone other than the Spirit of God was in control of your life. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Here is are some examples of being controlled by others: when you are envious, proud, self-serving, easily angered, when you keep a record of wrongs. These are all things that love, the fruit of the Spirit, is not.

When you and I engage in these thoughts we have given control of our lives to someone other than the Holy Spirit. When your mind is constantly coming back to how irritating and wrong others are you are gratifying your flesh. You are refusing to be controlled by the Spirit.

Love is all encompassing. You are to be constantly, consciously loving God all the time. You are to show love to others all the time. As God has loved you, you are to love him. This can only happen by the control of God’s Spirit.

Seek God, trust his Word, live by the power of his Spirit. This will keep others from controlling your life.

Love or frustration? It’s a control thing.

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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.