The Weight of Irritability

by Cynthia Jennings on January 13, 2021

If you’re like me at times you get irritated. In one of my irritated moments, I asked myself does God get irritated with me being irritated? I began to think when irritability happens it’s usually due to something or someone else. Oftentimes we try to convince ourselves that if they or the situation was different, we wouldn’t be irritated. Or we blame the irritation on being tired, sick or stressed.

I went into prayer one day and asked God to show me myself in regards to irritability. As a life coach my primary goal is to get to the root of why someone needs coaching. Well, in prayer God showed me the root of irritability lies in the soil of unrighteousness.  OUCH!!! It springs out of the soil of selfishness and it springs up fast like the sin-weed it is.

Let’s dive into this a bit. The Greek word paroxyno Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 which the ESV translates as “irritable,” can also be translated as “provoked,” “kindled” or “incited. In this passage Paul is addressing the short fuse, our becoming too quickly or too easily provoked to anger (or irritably). That is why the ESV chose “irritable” and KJV chose “provoked”.

Our irritability is never rooted in the soils of righteous. It springs up from the soil of selfishness. Irritability doesn’t happen when God’s righteousness or justice is scorned, but when something we want is being denied, delayed, or disrupted.

Does this sound familiar:

* you’re tired and want rest, but if it’s denied, delayed or disrupted you become irritated

* you’re running late and want to avoid appearing sloughful, but if it’s denied delayed or disrupted you become irritated

* when you’re preoccupied and need to focus, but if it’s denied delayed or disrupted, you become irritated

*when you’re enjoying something and you want it to continue, but if it’s denied delayed or disrupted you become irritated

The reason irritability is unloving, unrighteous anger is that it’s a selfish response to an obstacle of our desire. The desire may not be sinful, but a selfish response to its denial, delay or disruption is a failure to trust God at all times (Psalm 62:8).

On my quest to help me when the irritability trigger is squeezed, I ran across an article that included the following acronym: S.T.O.P.

S: Stop, repent and ask (stop mid rant, repent of our sin, and ask what am I desiring that is being denied, delayed or disrupted).

T: Trust a promise (trust and believe God’s promises that combat your areas of temptation to irritability). 2 Corinthians 9:8, Philippians 4:9

O: Obey (remember your emotions are gauges not guides, don’t allow irritation to reign in you). Romans 6:12

P: Plan (be intentional in acknowledging and avoiding what causes irritability). 1Corinthians 10:13

PEARLStoPONDER: To be honest I have gotten irritated post that prayer. But I have learned to be more intentional in deciphering if the irritability is my selfishness of what I call the three D’s: denial, delay or disruption.

Proverbs 15:1--A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Hebrews 12:1--Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.




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