It takes wisdom and maturity to swallow disappointment without complaint. Any two-year-old can throw a tantrum, but if we hope to do more than survive setbacks — if we want to actually grow through them and profit from them — then we must learn healthier ways of handling hardships.
So next time you’re feeling frustrated, view it as an exercise in character-building. Practice the following responses, and they will soon become second-nature:
F – Faith – Trust that God has a purpose and a plan. Look to Him for guidance.
R – Respect – Treat others well. Don’t use frustration as an excuse to be rude or impatient.
U – Understanding – Why did this happen? Have my actions caused or contributed to the problem?
S – Sympathy – Demonstrate compassion for others who’ve been through similar trials.
T – Teachability – What lessons can I learn from this? How do I avoid similar situations in the future?
R – Resourcefulness – Think outside the box. Be flexible. Is there a different approach I might try?
A - Acceptance – Frustrations are just a fact of life. Anticipate and make allowances for them.
T – Tenacity – Hold fast to your convictions. Remain resolved. Don’t give up in the face of frustration.
I – Integrity – Guard your good name. Live above reproach. Never return evil for evil.
O – Opportunity – Where God closes a door, He opens a window. Look for it.
N – Need – We need God’s grace, strength, wisdom, and mercy, and should pray for such continually.
Misguided parents will sometimes cater to a child’s every whim (thereby doing him a great disservice). There’s a name for kids who must always have their way: spoiled brats.
God loves us too much to make the same mistake. Scripture goes so far as to say that we should rejoice when we encounter hardships, big or small, for God uses such trials to mold in us the character of Christ (James 1:2-3).
Someday, when we stand before Him, complete, we may finally recognize frustration for what it truly is: a friend without whom we’d never be the same.
Have you developed a strategy for dealing with frustration? Please share by leaving a comment below, or join me on Facebook and we can discuss it there.