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Red Light Revelation

How to overcome the underlying problem that causes irritability.

I'm sure none of you struggle with irritability.  ;-)  My irritability was brought to light during a recent stop where I had a red light revelation at which time I reflected upon the underlying problem that caused me to be irritable...

Revelation - Don't Be Late!

Do you ever notice that when you are running late and need to be somewhere important, that every single traffic light always seems to be red!  It never fails!  Because of the red traffic lights, I end up being delayed further! My mood becomes more irritable as the clock keeps ticking away.  If the red lights weren't enough, it seems every person I am driving behind has decided to go slow!  My attitude deteriorates even more...  In my mind, I'm directing hostility to the poor innocent slow driver in front of me.   Inevitably, this series of events occurs many times on the way to church...  Certainly, a shameful way to begin the Lord's Day.

My revelation, I didn't allow myself enough time to get ready so that I wouldn't be late, despite red lights or slow drivers.  You see, there can be just as many red traffic lights on days when I am not in a rush.  The difference is I don't notice the red lights because I have allowed plenty of time to arrive at my destination and/or I'm enjoying the drive, enjoying the company, deep in thought or whatever the case, at that particular time, it is not effecting me.  I'm not letting red lights ruin my day.

The remedy for the red traffic light problem.  Don't be late!  Whether it be school, work, an appointment or church, prepare as much as you can the night before.  Make your lunch, lay out your clothes, set your alarm earlier, prepare in any way you are able, and don't let social media distract you.

Go to the ant, you sluggard; observe its ways and be wise.
 Proverbs 6:6

I realize that unforeseen things can certainly happen that cause us to be late which are outside of our control; a hungry baby, a diaper that needs changing, a crying toddler, a teachable moment for our children, a sudden important phone call, a friend in need, just to name a few.  In those cases, when we  are running late and encounter red lights, we can rest contented knowing that we took care of important matters - matters of provision, comfort, and the heart - matters for the Kingdom.

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,
 and all these things will be added unto you." 
 Matthew 6:33

When you seek first His Kingdom, maybe, just maybe, you will find that every traffic light will be green. :-)

Revelation - An Underlying Problem

There are some days when just simply being clumsy and dropping something will cause me to go into a rage.  It's really quite silly how angry I become just because I dropped something.   In the moment, I wouldn't dare tell myself I was being silly because after all, I want to feel angry!  But then that moment fades quickly, and disappointment sets in when I realize, "Wow, I was just reading an edifying Christian blog post or praying or reading my Bible and I'm behaving like this??"  Then I hear Satan whispering in my ear, "And you call yourself a Christian...  I don't think so..."

My revelation, there are deep seeded issues I am wrestling with whether it be a relationship problem, a general problem, sickness, affliction, discontentedness, or not getting my own way.  I have not surrendered to the Lord whatever it is I'm processing subconsciously which results in an angry outburst just because I dropped something.  I'm directing my anger at the situation rather than addressing my feelings with the Lord.  I think a lot of times this happens because I feel like the situation I am dealing with is out of my control to fix or seems hopeless to change; the only thing I can control is my anger - at the dropped item...

"A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back." 
Proverbs 29:11

"For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God".
James 1:20

The remedy for being irritable, you must be honest with yourself and with God.  Instead of holding onto those things that are upsetting you, give them over to the Lord.  Talk with Him about it.  Ask the Lord to give you a teachable heart.  Seek wisdom on how to address those things that are in your control.

"Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; 
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."
Psalm 55:22

Search me O God and know my heart ; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me.   And lead me in the everlasting way. 
Psalm 139:24

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." 
Psalm 51:10

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans."
Proverbs 16:3

{For more insights on how to avoid the consequences of sin in your life, please head over to my post Are You  Choosing a Curse and Not Even Realizing It? which you can read HERE.}

Revelation - Complaining Fuels Irritability

I confess, I am a murmurer, especially when it comes to housework or picking up after others.  As I'm cleaning, I am complaining to myself with much negative self-talk.  "Nobody else does anything around the house."; "I have to do everything."; "Am I everyone's servant??

The reality of the situation, I am feeling underappreciated, unnoticed...  In the area of housework, I am not seeing my home as a mission field - an area of service.   Any housework I am doing for my family is essentially cancelled out when I murmur in the midst of it.  I am not conducting myself as someone who is giving cheerfully, but instead as someone who is resentful.

Our homes are the first mission field the Lord commissions to us.  Serving those we love should never be resented, even housework...

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."  1 Timothy 5:8

Revelation - Serving Others as the Lord

The remedy for murmuring, remember Who your work is ultimately for.

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than 
for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward
 of inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve..."
Colossians 3:23-24

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves. 
 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."  
Romans 12:10-11

When we serve inside our homes, not only are we modeling Christ-like behavior to our spouses and children, we are training for service outside the home to be a witness to those who are perishing.

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." 
 John 13:35

I do want to clarify that I am not implying that those who serve in the home should not be appreciated or should be treated as servants.  Every human being desires to know that they are loved and appreciated.  God designed us with hearts to love and to be loved.  It is important to spur one another on with words of encouragement and gratitude.

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works."  
Hebrews 10:24

Let us serve in our homes without expecting praise, working quietly for the Lord, knowing that He sees and is well pleased.


Matthew Henry sums up perfectly in his commentary on James 1 the experiences I shared above:

"When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions.  This may not always  expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God.  No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God.

Seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments."

It wasn't until I had read Matthew Henry's insights that I had the revelation of how much I allow "second causes" to rule my emotions and my behavior.  This certainly isn't good for my own emotional and spiritual health, and most especially, it is a poor witness to those around me.

I must remember to cast my burdens upon the Lord; to steadfastly seek God's wisdom in all things; to pray without ceasing; to endure and be patient in trials and affliction; to allow my heart to be taught; to serve the Lord with my whole heart and soul, and to have my enjoyment in Him.

 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfectly and fully developed lacking in nothing. 
 James 1:4

Even when you're late, red lights can be a good thing.  ;-)

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  1. Great post!!!! Being honest about just how difficult our flesh can be is the perfect way to turn and run to Jesus, and ask for His help. I really enjoyed your honest approach to an issue all of us face... the difficulties our flesh present to us each and every day is not something new... but how we react to those difficulties is what makes the difference. Turning to Jesus, and asking for His help is the only answer... and isn't it wonderful to know that despite the weak human nature we possess, that the Lord is able to turn mourning into joy, and a difficult circumstance into a learning experience for us. Enjoyed this post :)

    1. Thank you for your kinds words of encouragement.

      Indeed! Jesus is our ever present help, most especially in our temptations and weak flesh.

      Praising God for His faithfulness! :-)

  2. You're definitely on to something here! It takes discipline to stop in our moment of anger and to analyze where our anger comes from and then to lay it before the Lord--but he is always faithful to help us through those moments!

    1. Yes, praying for strength to be able to give up my own will, even in the heat of the moment, will be a lesson in diligence. But when we diligently seek His will for our lives, it becomes more natural to lay aside our own.

      Thanks for visiting! :-)

  3. Good Word. It's the little stuff that sticks like a burr if we don't deal with it. usually any anger issues is because we allowed her "burr' to stay attached.

  4. good read - a blessing and inspiration - one of my favorite songs too! God bless!

    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement. :-)

      And thanks for visiting!

  5. It is so amazing how the Lord is present when I'm overwhelmed. Casting my burdens is something I have to do often and I can feel His presence and help.

    Love your post. Have a great day!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      Yes, indeed an ever present help.

      So glad you visited!

  6. Made me smile when you said this is most likely to happen on the way to church ~ how true :)
    Thank you for the reminder to be mindful of our attitude, and to focus on the things that are important.

    1. Praising God for His lessons through our lives and experiences.

      So blessed to have you visit. :-)

  7. "Second causes"...a phrase I have never heard before, but you bring light to it along with Mr. Henry, whom I really like to read for deeper study. Trust, fixing my eyes on Jesus, staying close to Him...all of these are ways I can hear more of Him and less of the world.
    Visiting from Motivate & Rejuvenate.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. Yes, I had never heard of that either before I read the commentary piece. It really stood out to me in such a profound way.

      Thank you for visiting! :-)

    2. Thank you, Karen, for this great post. I have learned to thank God for red lights and backed up traffic...I believe it is His way of keeping me out of an accident up ahead ❤️

    3. Beth, I have often thought that way myself. When we meet Jesus face to face, I'm sure it will be revealed to us all the ways He protected us while we were in our earthly bodies.

      Thanks for the words of encouragement and for stopping by! :-)

  8. This is great, Karen! I remember when I used to get SO bent out of shape over red lights-- then I started using them to pray. Sure, I get behind sometimes, but I seriously and authentically ask the Lord to help me out in those moments-- especially since my ONEWORD this year is REST and I am seeking to NOT hurry so much in life.

    It is amazing how those very short moments of pause become sweet, connect me to the Lord and I STILL get to where I am going on time. :-)

    1. Thank you for sharing how you "use red lights" to draw closer to the Lord. What a wonderful idea! And, he blesses you in the process! :-)

      Thank you for visiting!

  9. What a great post Karen and I appreciate you sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    1. Thank you for your kind words!

      I very much enjoy participating at Good Morning Mondays. :-)

  10. I love everything about this today. It seems my mood can change quickly and sometimes all it takes is a red light on the way to work. Letting go and letting God in all each day is a lesson to carry with me always. So glad you shared this at The Weekend Brew.

    1. Mary, thank you for your encouraging words.

      Indeed, our moods certainly can change so quickly and for me, anyway, with a minor irritation. So thankful the Lord gives us a way out.

      Thanks for stopping by! :-)


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