HOW TO HANDLE FRUSTRATION

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
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FRUSTRATION!  We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Yet, how do we handle it?

Some feed it by getting angry. Others squelch it by seething inwardly. Still others deny their frustration and hope it will just go away.

But none of these methods works in the long run.

So, what is the best way to handle frustration in our lives?

Before I offer my suggestions, I’d like first to define frustration. Possibly the best definition I’ve come across is this: “Frustration is the discrepancy between what we hoped to achieve and what we actually achieved.”

From this definition we see that frustration has to do with expectations. When we have expectations that do not pan out, we become frustrated. 

So, how can we avoid frustration in our lives and live the peaceful life Jesus died to give us?

Here are three tips that help me when I am tempted to be frustrated:

1–Set realistic expectations. A realistic expectation is one consistent with the situation in which you find yourself. For example, if you need to lose 20 lbs., it would be unrealistic to expect to lose all 20 lbs. in one week. To expect to lose 20 lbs. in one week would be setting yourself up for failure–and frustration.

2–Change your focus.  All of us have good traits as well as bad. When you find that someone’s behavior frustrates you, shift your focus from the person’s flaw to the person’s strength. For example, if your teenage son forgets to pick up his clothes from his bedroom floor, close his bedroom door and focus on the fact that he is kind, helpful, and respectful. 

“Frustration is the discrepancy between what we hoped to achieve and
what we actually achieved.”
 ~ Author Unknown

3–Practice gratitude. One of the best antidotes to frustration is the practice of gratitude. Instead of grumbling about what frustrates you, be thankful about the things that bless you. Take time every day to count your blessings. If you do, not only will you find your frustration level decreasing, but you will also find your happiness level rising to new heights.

Now it’s YOUR turn! How do you handle frustration? Please comment in the box below. Thanks! 

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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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How to Win at Being Patient

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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NOTE: My latest book, THE DAYSTAR DEVOTIONAL, has just been released. Please see details at the end of this post. Thanks!

If you’re like me, you sometimes struggle with impatience. Whether it has to do with twenty minutes of holding on a phone call while being forced to listen to ear-pummeling music or dealing with an unruly child, we run into situations every day that try our patience. As much as we try to be patient, at times we fail–and fail miserably.

Man looking anxiously at watch

Impatience, at its root, is a wrong response to fear. The fear is that we will never reach the goal we want to reach or that we will miss out on something we really want or need. In other words, impatience is fearing that a need we have will not be met or a goal we want to achieve will never happen. This fear makes us want to control not only the meeting of our need or want, but also the method by which we meet that need or want.

For example, let’s say you want your child to do well at school. When he lags behind or doesn’t put forth his best effort, you grow impatient with him.  You pressure and push and pressure and push your child until you break his spirit.  Now, you are frustrated, and he is discouraged.

But what is the real issue here? Is it that you want your child to succeed? That may certainly be part of the issue. But what is the core issue? The core issue may be that you are afraid of looking bad as a parent if your child fails. So, the real issue is your fear of failing as a parent.

Once we discover the core issue or issues of our impatience, we will better be able to win at being patient.

So, how can we win at being patient? And win every time?

Here are two tips:

1–Ask yourself if the issue that is stoking your impatience is really the core issue. Most things that we think are the issue are only the symptoms of the real issue.

2–Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the core issue of your impatience. Once you discover the core issue–or core fear–you can then be set free from impatience.

Scripture says this about patience: “But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James1: 4). The word perfect as used in this verse means mature. Patience is a sign of maturity in Christ. A patient Christian is a mature Christian. An impatient Christian is not.

Bottom line, winning at being patient is to renounce our core fears and to trust in God’s love to deliver us from them. As we are reminded in 1 John 4: 18: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.Fear is a sign that we have not yet matured in love. As we mature in love, we will mature in patience.

In his wonderful book, Waiting on God (which I highly recommend if you struggle with impatience), Andrew Murray says this: “True patience is the losing of our self-will in His perfect will.” As we submit our will to God’s will, we will win over impatience.

TWEETABLE: “How to Win at Being Patient” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

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