Some agitators just love making life miserable for others. Then there are those who are seemingly clueless to their maddening habits. Whatever end of the spectrum these blackboard scratchers fall, their actions raise blood pressure and can cause emotional, mental and, even to some extent, physical harm.
Proverbs 24:19-20--Don’t be agitated by evildoers, and don’t envy the wicked. For the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
At first, it might seem disingenuous that Solomon would advise us not to be agitated. He was after all, the wealthiest king on the planet. How stressful could life have been for this polymath; this connoisseur of wisdom? Very stressful—look how many wives he ended up having to please! Yet, we should remember, his words convey the fragrance of heaven’s inspiration.
So let’s meditate on this for a moment. How does one avoid being agitated? David, Solomon’s father, gives us insight in Psalms 37. I think Solomon must have heard his dad.
Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong . . . Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans. Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm” (Vss 1,7,8).
The key to avoiding agitation begins with turning our attention from what irritates us to God. We should wait or trust in Him. We stop our fidgeting and in silence trust Him to work on our peeved heart and ruffled spirit. Next, we set aside our rising angst at those who seemingly revel in their deviant actions. Agitation leads to harm. How true is this? I know from experience if I’m vexed my thoughts are negative, my disposition is soured and a critical spirit swirls my thinking. I don’t like that—it is not a place I want to reside.
When I begin to pray for the one who is the source of agitation, a change takes place in my spirit. I become more patient, more understanding and less bothered—not so as to excuse misbehavior, poor attitudes etc., but to prevent them from stealing my victory in Christ. I find that a kind word or a gracious reply soothes the sting of a snide remark or a juvenile action. Turning the praise volume of worship up is a splendid counter to losing the victory over texting drivers, or truckers blocking people from passing, or fake news.
Agitation is not worth the cost of stolen peace. Resist the urge! Don’t get agitated.
This is the mark of a perfect character - to pass through each day as though it were the last, without agitation, without torpor, and without pretense.—Marcus Aurelius
©2022 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)