The Dark Side of Relating
Exasperating – Part 2
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:1-9
Key Verse: Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Yesterday’s devotional started the discussion of how to rid ourselves of any emotional buttons. The apostle uses a term in our scripture that referred to provoking someone to high levels of angry emotion. This leads us to ask, can I be provoked into acting in a manner that later I’m ashamed of? With God’s grace, I believe we can avoid those buttons.
The Apostle Paul wrote about his own personal approach to these matters. He said that he had to “beat his body down;” bring it under control of God’s Spirit within him. In other words, Paul had to work hard at self-control; it was not an easy endeavor! That means that we must realize we are up against a huge enemy that we must defeat—ourselves! We are our own worst enemy when we allow ourselves emotional buttons that can be pushed. We justify our angry responses by saying: “They pushed the right buttons.” We often like that approach because it focuses on someone else’s behavior rather than our own! It allows us to blame them for pushing our buttons. God wants us to get rid of our buttons by his power. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. That means we are not alone in this battle for control. We can stop ourselves from destroying relationships!
Father, thank you for your Spirit that lives within me, strengthening me to be a person who is controlled by your Spirit! In Jesus’ Name, amen.