Exasperate – irritate and frustrate (someone) intensely.
I have the ability to exasperate others, not intentionally (okay, most of the time not intentionally), but just by way of my matter-of-fact thinking. I can be very black and white in my thinking about certain things, and yet out of the box thinking about other things. I can come off as a know-it-all as I love research and can quickly find answers to things. I have strong opinions, and my personality in general is very assertive, so at times people won’t disagree even if I am dead wrong (which really exasperates me). I have some level of self awareness about myself, so I have empathy for those I frustrate unintentionally.
Here is a little truth though, I frequent exasperated myself. I can definitely relate to Paul when he writes:
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” Romans 7:18-20 ESV
My best laid plans often fail as I let my flesh have its way. There are things that I know I need to do, that I even want to do, that I can’t make myself do consistently. There are things that I don’t feel like I should do that I do anyway, and then feel exasperated because I did it. There are things that I know God has laid on my heart to do, but I find myself hesitating to step out.
I know I also exasperate God with my “Here I am use me, God. I will do anything You ask of me.” Shortly after I am questioning, “What do You mean You want me to say that or do that?” Followed by “God how about you give me this sign, so I know that it is really You?” Usually resulting in a “You mean like, right now?” So often I will spend so much time questioning, that the opportunity passes.
When I am obedient to what God asks of me, even after all the anxious questions, there is a peace that surpasses understanding. His peace comes almost immediately, even when those questions of if I did it right try to flood my mind. My heart may be racing when I step out, but that calm that comes after makes it all worth the risk.
On the flip side, I find myself exasperated with myself when I tell God “no,” with my actions. Or when I spend so much time questioning that eventually I end up quenching the move of the Spirit. I know that is a dangerous place to find myself. I know that God’s grace meets me there, but I do not want to get to a place where I exasperate Him so much that His Spirit stops speaking.
My prayer lately has been for the Lord to help me get past me. I recognize that I am my biggest barrier in stepping out for Him. It is not the enemy that trips me up, I can usually see him coming. It is not others that get in my way, I recognize that if God has called me to something it may not be what others want of me. I can give them back to God. It is my own actions and inactions that exasperate me when I need to be stepping out for Him.
This post is part of a 28 days series on Stepping Out inspired by the #Write28Days Blogging Challenge by Anita Ojeda.
I think we all have parts of us that irritate and exasperate others. But the person we’re most hard on is ourselves! Thankfully, we have a patient Father.
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Nice post Jackie. It is so true we all want to do the right thing but then question why are we doing the wrong thing. Thanks for reminding us to keep looking to Christ for direction and give ourselves grace when we don’t.
Thank you for stopping by.