Thursday, March 28, 2013

When Irritated Or Angry, Serve

Have you ever been irritated? Medically, irritation is a state of inflammation, a painful reaction to cell lining damage. It means you hurt because something rubbed you the wrong way.  Again, I ask, have you ever been irritated? 

I have. Something rubbed me the wrong way. In defense of myself, it would have rubbed you the wrong way, too. That doesn't make the irritation go away. Defending an irritation does the same thing to us that scratching a sore does. It keeps it from healing and makes it worse, often causing it to spread like an infected wound. Soon we are covered with irritations, and eventually we become an irritation to everyone around us. Is there a remedy?

Well, we can try to avoid irritations, going with the flow. But, people and situations will not go with us. Friction is inevitable, especially if we are people of conviction in a conviction less world. In this world there will be friction and so there will be irritations.  Is there something else we can do?

We can try to overlook it. Love covers a multitude of sins, and often we are able to overlook the things others do.  Applying patience, forbearance, and prayer to a person or situation is often all it takes - like a bandage on a wound. Sometimes, though, that doesn't work. The irritating person or situation is like a pair of shoes that rubs us the wrong way, a pair we have to wear. We cannot avoid them or the situation, then we find the blister under the bandaid festering rather than healing. What are we to do then? 

Well it helps to apply Jesus to the wound in a specific way by serving, preferably serving the one who irritated us. If that is not possible, just serve someone. Jesus came to serve and if you want to abide in Christ and experience His healing power and presence you need to serve.  If you can't serve the source of the irritation, just serve.

Serving brings us in step with Jesus. He came to serve. So, if you're going to walk in His presence, a.k.a., abide in Christ, you must serve. It also distracts us from our irritations so God can heal them. Serving is a holy distraction that takes our focus off ourselves and our irritations so we stop fiddling with them.  Then Jesus can heal them.  It's like in the movies when they cowboy is shot and they have to cut the bullet out with no anesthetic. Someone puts a stick or twisted bandanna in the cowboy's mouth and says, "Bite down hard. This is gonna hurt."  Biting on the stick does nothing to take away the pain, but it does distract the cowboy long enough for them to remove the bullet.