Dealing with Frustration

We all face frustrations at various times in life. Webster defines the word “frustrate” as: “Literally, to break or interrupt; hence, to defeat; to disappoint; to balk; to bring to nothing.” Frustration is used in two ways, it is an emotion that denotes a reaction to something and it is an action that blocks or rejects another action.

Most of the time when we consider frustration it is of the emotional type; and while frustration is an emotion that is naturally a part of life, it can also be quite dangerous. Many people have sinned and sought to use frustration as a means of excusing their actions. Nevertheless, as with all actions, frustration must be controlled. Frustration is often the root cause behind many sins including: things which are said to hurt, harm, or curse; actions of violence such as lashing out at another; seeking to injure or harm the influence of another by backbiting and gossip, and many others.

It must be understood that frustration itself is not a sin. God has often been frustrated, in terms of disappointment, by mankind. However, it is what we do with frustration that can become sin. A sinful response in frustration can be evidence of a lack of self-control and a willingness to disregard God’s Laws in times of controversy. Many throughout the Scriptures have had to deal with the frustrations of ungodly responses, failed endeavors, and troublesome events. Some dealt with them very well, others failed miserably.

Nevertheless, we must be sure that we keep the actions of our body in check as we deal with frustration. Paul wrote: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27). The principle of self-control that Paul expresses is equally necessary when dealing with frustration; for frustration is not an excuse for sin.

Therefore, in times of frustration, before we speak: let us pray; before we lash out: let us reach out; before we act offensively: let us defend our souls; before we grab Satan’s hook: let us seek the sanctuary of the deeper waters of God’s Word. As the apostle said, “Recompense to no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:17, 21).

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