3 Helpful Words for When I’m Frustrated with Myself

Have you ever had a pesky little annoyance creep into your heart and cause frustration, only to scroll social media a few minutes later and see a good friend’s post about a difficult trial or struggle she’s facing?

I let the small stuff dredge up petty negativity while my friend is going through a tough time.

The grip of conviction hurts. But instead of taking this correction as an opportunity to grow and change my habits, I simply turn the frustration inward.

I become frustrated with myself.

Thoughts like, “I should know better,” and “I’m a terrible person. I should be more thankful,” come to mind. I feel guilty. It’s not that I want to be frustrated with myself, but sometimes I question how someone who reads the Bible, prays, and studies God’s Word can mess up over and over.

Paul felt the same way.

“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me….” Romans 7:21-23 NLT

But then in verse 25, Paul goes on to reveal this. 

“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord…” Romans 7:25a

God gave us a sound mind, but our sinful nature is constantly at odds with the love of Jesus in our hearts and the peace of the Holy Spirit. That’s why as believers it is so important to pray continuously, read the Truth in God’s Word, and “meditate on it day and night.” (Joshua 1:8)

God’s Word tells us He corrects those He loves. (Hebrews 12:6) Knowing we will make mistakes and staying in constant awareness of God’s presence helps us to be open to correction. So those moments of conviction can draw us into a deeper gratitude for God’s goodness. 

God doesn’t want me to dwell on my missteps, and He definitely does not want me to be frustrated with myself. These three words will help me overcome frustration with myself and move forward in Christ.

1. Awareness - Be aware of the Holy Spirit’s nudges when frustration threatens again.

2. Forgiveness - Ask God to forgive me instead of turning the frustration toward me.

3. Gentleness - Move forward with a more gentle spirit toward others and myself.

Awareness. Forgiveness. Gentleness. If you’re experiencing frustration today, whether it’s with your circumstances or with yourself, let these three words calm the war in your mind. God will “renew a right spirit within you” as frustration releases its grip. And what a beautiful spirit it is:)





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You Are YOU, Because of God's Grace

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10a NIV)

The music blared from the cassette player.

I'm sure the lyrics brought tears to Jesus’ eyes. Not the good kind, either. In fact these band members spoke openly against faith. I knew that. I also knew they promoted a careless, disrespectful lifestyle.

But in my independent teenage mind, none of that mattered.

Looking back now, I realize the damage I was causing. I sometimes reminisce about the past and cringe at some of the choices I made.

I’m sure many of us have memories from the past that bring a heaping load of regret.

Sometimes when those shame-filled times pop into our minds, we quickly pray them away. We dig into God's Word to remind us who we are in Christ today. Because if we don’t, the enemy may try to grab onto those thoughts and consume us with feelings of defeat and discouragement.

Being able to take those thoughts captive is an important part of growing closer to God.

There are also times when the memories of past mistakes serve an important role in our lives.

Paul points this out in 1 Corinthians 15. Those sins of the past reveal God’s power and define our purpose.

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10a NIV)

Because of where I was and who God is, I am what I am. (Tweet this.)

Paul points out he is not even worthy to be associated with the apostles. Even so, he realizes it is God’s plan to use him, and God is able to do more than Paul can imagine.

Matthew Henry’s commentary puts it this way, “When sinners are, by Divine Grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful.”

Have moments of your past been burdening you?

Are you haunted by thoughts of a lifestyle you’d honestly rather forget?

With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can take those thoughts captive. Then we can see them for what they are – a triumph for God’s goodness and grace.

Dear Lord, I am thankful to be rescued and renewed, yet still growing and learning with you each day. Help us today to see our past the way You see it, as a testimony of a life transformed. Allow our focus to be on the journey we are taking with You, and may others be changed by seeing the change in us. Amen.



(This post originally appeared on morethanyourself.com February 28, 2015.)