One recent morning Susan said to me, politely I might add, “Please don’t be grouchy today.” I find myself these days being easily irritable. No, I put on a good face with others, but with those I love dearly I can be moody. I hate it. I’ve been asking God to help me with this sin – and yes, irritability is a sin. It is a form of unrighteous anger.
I want to blame my irritability on COVID or other outward circumstances. If things were simply different, I wouldn’t be so irritable. That is lie, and I know it. My irritability is from my selfishness. I want to relax but it is denied. I want relief but it does not come. “Why are you interrupting me?” UGH! Irritability comes when my desires are unmet – unfulfilled. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it,” Ja 4:1-2a NIV.
What must I (we) do? Surrender all desires to Christ. Slow down. Realize when irritable one needs to confess and ask for forgiveness. Trust in God’s promises – which are many. A favorite is Eph 1:11, “he is working all things according to the purpose of his will.” Where is God in an undesirable circumstance? He is there. You have heard me say it. God’s in the mess. Do not let irritability control – obey God, yield emotions to him. Let us not give in, but let us practice genuine love, especially to those nearest to us. “Love is not irritable,” 1 Cor 13:5.