Minor Irritation

Gnats are a minor irritation. Right? Where we live they often show up on hot and humid summer days. They fly around my head and into my face usually in the middle of a golf swing.

Somehow these little irritants found their way into the house. At first we thought they were fruit flies that had come in with the bananas. They seemed to be multiplying. We would kill a dozen of them only to have more show up. Twice had them fly up my nose in the middle of a Zoom meeting. Try explaining that to your colleagues. This was no longer a minor situation.

There are lots of minor irritations in life. Sometimes they start to build into more. They can accumulate until a person reaches the breaking point. My husband, who was targeted more than I, was reaching that point. We tried every “trap” recipe on the internet. Soap, water, sugar you name it. They avoided it.

Irritation is easily turned into anger. I watched it build within my husband as he dealt with 3 times the number of gnats I did. Even after we figured out they were coming through the screens in the kitchen, we couldn’t seem to get rid of them. Many of us struggle as we look at social media to keep minor irritations in check. Okay, I struggle. Then my dad’s words come to mind, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” It is a shorter version of this scripture.

26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Ephesians 4:26-31 NIV).

Keeping anger, bitterness, slander out of my mouth and my heart can be challenging. I remind myself of my goal-represent God’s love at all times. Even in situations of righteous anger, slander and bitterness are not part of God’s character. It is not what should be held in my heart or come out of my mouth. It’s a tall order, and one I’ll keep working on.

Do minor irritations get the best of you? What are the gnats in your life? How do you handle anger? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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