“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted)! For I have overcome the world. (I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.)”

— John 16:33

These past few weeks — honestly months — I have been irritable, short-tempered, not so tolerant and walking in the flesh.

Being 47 years old, I chalked this up to hormones. However, I recognized some old patterns from my drinking days starting to take hold and realized I was probably on a dry drunk — isolating, being self-centered and blaming others for my problems.

Several years back after reading “Victory Over The Darkness” and completing the “Steps To Freedom In Christ,” by Neil Anderson, I found one golden nugget of truth that really helped me understand anger and frustration: Any goal that I had based on other people’s behavior was going to promote anger and frustration.

According to Wikipedia,

“Frustration is an emotional response to circumstances where one is obstructed from arriving at a personal goal. The more important the goal, the greater the frustration.”

When I changed my internal goals into something I actually had control over, my anger and frustration diminished greatly. Of course, we all know we can’t control others’

behavior, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

A couple of examples of unhealthy goals based on others’ behavior would be:

1. “Everyone will like me.” Who can block that goal? Everyone. The healthy goal would be changed to: “I will be the best friend, co- worker, daughter, wife, etc., I can be with God’s help.”

2. “I will have the best marriage ever.” Who can block that goal?

Your spouse. The healthy goal would be changed to: “I will be the best wife I can be with God’s help.”

3. “Everyone will be on time for church, worship practice, a board or committee meeting or lunch with friends.” Who can block that goal?

Everyone. The healthy goal would be changed to: “I will arrive on time for events. If the event doesn’t start on time, I have the option of not participating.”

After spending some time reflecting on my unhealthy internal goals and addressing them, I was amazed at how much internal pressure was relieved. It is very hard to walk in the Spirit when our flesh is out of order.