I think that we might agree that, given half the chance, most of us would happily share all our frustrations in detail. But since such outbursts do not make for a pleasant living, we wisely curb our desire to over-share that which aggravates us.
Many people bottle up their grievances and save them for an audience that will either cool their tempers or put up with their eruptions.
Many a sin is hidden among the moods of the day. Pity the children whose eyes sink ever deeper into their smartphones as a parent brings home the grievances of the workplace; this stuff hangs in the air.
I know that I am painting a bleak picture so far, but I believe that an honest look at our temperaments might go a long way to bring back the joy in the lives of many.
Scripture tells us:
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).
Since this verse comes hard on the heels of one of the greatest ‘feel-good’ passages in the Bible—“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”—its intended impact might easily be minimised.
The fact is that we will know no lasting joy unless it is plain to all that we face our frustrations with a spirit of reasonableness. And this spirit of reasonableness cannot be cultivated and sustained without the conviction that “The Lord is at hand.”
When a Christian is certain that Jesus may return at any moment, they aspire to ‘keep the main thing the main thing.’ Their gentle disposition is a welcomed characteristic in problem-solving wherever they are. Who doesn’t want someone who yields to the spiritual needs of those around them when emotions are unravelling?
The Gospel will build within you the sweetest of dispositions if you let it—and who doesn’t want such an attractive thing?