As we serve in ministry it is imperative that we manage our frustrations in a positive way. If we do not manage them positively they will consumer us, our family, and adversely affect our ministry.
As I pondered this subject I was reminded of Peter’s frustration when the authorities came to arrest Jesus. John tells us, “Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s servants, and cut off his right ear.” (John 18:10) Peter made several mistakes.
- Peter acted impulsively. Instead of counting to ten or working through his frustration he acted on it. It caused him to do something he would later regret. How many times have we acted impulsively? Such behavior may cause angry outbursts and negative comments.
- Peter also received a rebuke from Jesus. Jesus said, “Put your sword away!” (vs. 11) None of us want to receive Jesus’ rebuke or even a word of correction from Him.
- Peter physically hurt another person. As much as we might feel Peter’s action was justified,
Many times, our frustration causes us to hurt others. How many times have we released our frustration on others, who were unaware of our state of mind. I remember occasions when I unloaded on my wife or children when I was frustrated with things at church. My behavior caused hurt! Jesus asks us to see things in a spiritual way.
So where do we turn with our frustration? First, we should turn to Jesus. It is interesting that Peter was standing in the presence of the One who could help him address his frustration. However, Peter sought to handle things on his own. How often are we guilty of that? We try to handle situations without consulting the Lord. Suppose I am struggling with a person at church, my first response should be to consult the Lord. My first responsibility is to not correct the person who is the source of my frustration.
After turning to Jesus, He may let us wait and see what He will do. The first suggestion is a matter of prayer. This one is a matter of practicality. What will Jesus do? Obviously, the suggestions go hand in hand but they require different behaviors. The first is waiting. The second is watching. Waiting always precedes watching.
Jesus wants to handle our frustrations. Such assurance takes the pressure from our shoulders and allows us to move with freedom. Should we not seek that freedom?