Pet Peeves: The Fast Track to a Hot Temper

I have a problem.  One I’ve been working on for a long time.  One that at first (before I walked with Jesus) I felt very justified in.  Some would call it a pet peeve.  I now call it sin nature of my old self.  Things that God’s Holy Spirit is empowering me to hate and to change.  But this one particular peeve has been stubborn in its release.

At its root is an identity issue.  A Pride issue.

You see I’m a daughter of the feminist era.  We women were told over and over again that we could have it all – career, degrees, family, prosperity, etc.  The 1970’s dream for the American woman.  I have the degrees, I have the family, I may have had the career, but Jesus called me to another path.  I have the abundant life that God promises us.  I have been richly blessed.  But not in the way that my 1980s-self had envisioned.  I often feel that I am viewed as unimportant because I do not work outside of my home.

So what is this pet peeve?  Well I was reminded of it again this morning.  I dislike automated calling systems, having to repeat myself over and over again, especially when someone else is in the wrong.  Why am I the one having to jump through the hoops when it was YOU who took my money in error?  To go along with this, I’m telling myself “Why can’t they just read their little computer screen to see what has been going on?  Why must I repeat the past 5 months of phone calls to update this new “customer service” representative?”  Just refund my money!

Irritation.  Impatience.  Disrespect.  Arrogance.  My irritation starts even before I dial the phone.  Then I hit the automated system that wants me to answer 10 questions before giving me 5 options – none of which is a live human being.  I pray and ask God to help me be patient and gracious, yet I fail every time.  I can hear the frustration in my carefully chosen words.  I want to spread a little of Jesus everywhere I go, but I don’t dare represent him on these phone calls because I am not a good ambassador for Christ. Guilty as charged.  To give myself and God’s Holy Spirit some credit, I have come a long way, but I have a long way yet to go.

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29 ESV)

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)

So what is one to do?  Keep pressing on.  Keep pursuing God.  Asking for forgiveness, trying again to do better.  Thinking of the person on the phone with you as Jesus Himself.  Resting in the assurance that in God’s eyes, I am His masterpiece, dearly loved, daughter of the King.

Oh Heavenly Father, I pray that You will not leave me in this fallen state.  Lord Help me to walk humbly before You and others.  Help me to see the opportunities I have to brighten someone’s day rather than to make their job more difficult.  Lord thank You for helping me to hate my sin.  Change my heart to be more like Jesus.  Amen.

So do you have any pet peeves?  Have you allowed God’s Holy Spirit to change you to be more like Jesus?  Share your testimony.  Tell of the great things that God has done and is doing in you today.  Let your journey encourage others for God’s glory.  We are one in body and spirit.  Be encouraged today.  Press on.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

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