I sometimes wonder if God looks at us like we look at puppies that are getting into mischief big time.
Every day they destroy something else. What one doesn’t think of the other comes up with. They are getting on my nerves.
One more straw and it will break the camel’s back. (1)
Seriously. Have you ever had your patience tried to the limit?
And what can we do to maintain our sanity?
What does getting on my nerves mean?
In its simplest terms, “getting on my nerves” means that something or someone is extremely annoying. It means that I am angry with them. Have you been there at times?
In case you think I was making up the story about the puppies, you are wrong.
This article is a work in progress. These two puppies have gone from sweet little darlings to 6-month-old demons.
They sit and wag their tails in the middle of something they have destroyed.
In the last few days, they have chewed up a brand new $30 tarp that was covering hay in the barn.
They have emptied out flower pots waiting to be planted, 3 plants at $45. This is just a partial list.
Would you not be angry? I sure am. I am down to my last nerve. The rest are frazzled.
Does the Bible talk about this topic?
There were many times in the Bible when people most assuredly got on God’s nerves. We see it in these accounts:
- The Children Of Israel had just seen a huge miracle at the Red Sea and now they were whining and complaining about food and water that they didn’t think God could produce.
- Jonah runs away from the job that God gave him to do.
- People are asking Jesus for just one more “sign” before they will trust Him when he has already performed many miracles.
This is only a partial list.
We see times when God regretted creating some of us just like right now I am regretting we got these puppies.
But something holds God back from destroying these individuals in the Bible.
You see, God is full of mercy, grace, and second chances. He does not let His feelings drive His actions. He does not always give us what we deserve.
God remembers that we are human.
How to handle when things get on our nerves
So yes these puppies are getting on my nerves! For you, it might be your children or other family members. But there are some things we need to remember.
Look at the offender as God does
We were created in the image of God. We don’t always show it, but we still are image-bearers.
God sees us through the lens of our Savior if we love Jesus.
What does that mean? He remembers that we are human with many flaws but pictures us as what we can be, complete is Jesus.
I know puppies are a bit different, but I can still look at them with their future role as guardians for our farm animals.
And for family members, God has a role for them. If they are not living up to it, we need to pray for them.
If they are children we need to encourage godly living, not just in words but through our own example of extending grace and second chances.
Let the offense remind us of how much we have been forgiven
Jesus chose to receive wounds instead of giving them. Did the crowds who crucified him deserve to be beaten or wiped out? Absolutely!
And though I was not in that crowd two thousand plus years ago, my sin still put Jesus on the cross. Yes, even my desire for the punishment of offenders is a sin. Ouch.
God disciplines us in love. There is a difference between punishment and discipline. Vengeance belongs only to God, not us.
Let the offense teach us
Really? Offenses can teach me? Yes, they can like:
- pray first
- think next
- leave action to the last
- remind me to treat others with respect
You and I can be respectful even when we are angry, even when someone or something is on my nerves.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV (2)
You might also like to read:
- “The idiom “the straw that broke the camel’s back” describes the minor or routine action that causes an unpredictably large and sudden reaction, because of the cumulative effect of small actions. It alludes to the proverb “it is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back”. Wikipedia
- Bible Gateway