Have you ever got into poison ivy? I found out that there are more than one type of poison ivy and it grows year round. It climbs, creeps, grows on bushes, and it even grows at the beach. When you get into a mess of poison ivy it can be one of the most irritating things. It can burn and sting, and the itch is unbearable. It can ooze and spread -- which is so irritating. Can you think back on times where you were just so irritated? Irritated by events in your life, other people, with yourself or things just not being fair? How did you deal with that feeling of irritation?
It usually starts out as something small -- you may have taken issue with something that was said to you. Maybe you over thought something, felt misunderstood, a little annoyed, frustrated and impatient because things are not going your way. Maybe you have allowed someone to make you feel badly about yourself. That is where it begins. It is what you do with that irritated state of mind that will cause it to fester or to calm. Sometimes, do you lose sight that life at times can be irritating. The Bible has not given me a scripture that said life would not be irritating sometimes. So what do you do when you begin to allow things to fester in your mind? Our thoughts are the very root of every word and deed. Do you think about the sinister things that you could do to get back at someone? What about saying ugly things about a person or situation? Have you ever looked into a mirror and looked at the expression on your face? What about your words, are they hateful, unkind, condescending? Are you being open and honest with God about what the underlying cause of the irritation could be? Do you just stomp around wanting every one to know that you are irritated, hoping that they will ask so you can just say what you feel? If you find yourself becoming irritable, sit down, do some self examination to get to the real reason that you are irritated. Are you tired? Are you prayed up and have you been reading God’s word? Have you been spending time with Him? When you find that little bit of irritation trying to bubble up within you, do you take your thoughts captive to the Lord. Are you being intentional in pursuing righteousness in every area of your life -- even when experiencing life’s “little irritations?” Phil. 4:8 -- think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. If you do this, your irritated heart will begin to reflect these things. Are you expecting God to bring good out of a bad situation? Are you asking Him to cleanse your thoughts? Each irritation in your life could become a stepping stone. Don’t just look for what you want to look for or see just what you want to see. Maybe instead of staying irritated you will learn to look at these irritations with optimism and faith instead of negativity. God is always a gentleman -- He gives us freedom of choice, and help if we are willing to ask for it. If you find yourself becoming irritated this week, don’t let it fester and grow, let the balm of the Most High God be your covering and protection. Take your thoughts and irritations to Him. Do a little self examination. Concentrate on what is pure, lovely, just kind, gracious, virtuous and excellent. Then go look in the mirror -- what do you see?
Father: we get so caught up with such pitiful things that seem to just irritate us. Most of the time it is all about us and the way we think we should be treated or the way we are treated. Sometimes it is because we want to control and we don’t get it. Sometimes it is because we let our emotions over ride what does not matter. Forgive us when we react out of our irritability. Help us to take our thoughts captive to you, and before acting out in our irritable times, we think about the things that are pure, lovely, just, kind, gracious, virtuous and most excellent.
Learn to keep your soul calm and quiet. Ps.131:2. Have a blessed week, Janice - Encourager Coach CR NWA Fellowship-Team


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