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     A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16

     A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

     Dear Jesus, reading these Scriptures just exposed and "busted" me. Though not condemned, I certainly feel deeply convicted. I'm irritated, aggravated and annoyed and have been for several days. I won't try to make excuses, I'll just come to you as the knotted, edgy mess that I am. Though my words have been measured, I'm sure my body language has been loud and clear. "Shark infested waters. Enter at your own risk."

     Jesus, as I own my bad attitude, I'm thankful you are the consummate "over-looker." It's not that you don't take my wrangled spirit seriously, because you do. But you're graciously forbearing and incomparably patient. You've begun a good work of transformation in us that you're committed to finish.

     This side of glorification, I don't really expect to be annoyance-free, but certainly the gospel is big enough to help me show my irritation less often and less hurtfully to others. And certainly the gospel is powerful enough to help me repent quicker when I do act like a fool--taking offenses way too seriously. And certainly the gospel gives me all the wisdom I need to discern what's really going on inside of me.

     So, Jesus, give me all the grace and wisdom I need to know what to take seriously and what simply to overlook. Give me gospel big-heartedness and gospel thick-skin-ness. I don't want to keep a record of annoying things done around me or to me. I don't want to put every intentional or non-intentional slight, or aggressive or passive-aggressive comment on my iPod and then push the replay button. No good can come from that.

     In fact, Jesus, help me be far more aware of when I'm the one being unnecessarily annoying or irritating to others. Convict me when my sense of humor leads to someone else's harm. Help me to steward my words, body language and "freedoms." May I give others less reasons to need this prayer when they're around me... so very Amen, I pray, in your loving and kind name.

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One thought on “A Prayer About Being Less Annoyed and More Patient”

  1. Scott says:

    Thank you! I needed to hear this today, and I need to put this prayer on my IPod and play it over and over. I appreciate your honesty as you bring to God real-life circumstances we all face.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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