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There’s no getting past the fact that people are irritating. The reasons are too many to list and it doesn’t seem to matter how good or bad you are, everybody rubs somebody the wrong way. What is the most amazing is that the things that irritate are usually small, like a splinter in the finger.

1349309842SplinterI know a few things about splinters. How could something so small could be so painful and irritating? A tiny shred of wood captured just beneath the top layer of skin. Being employed in the woodworking industry most of my life, it’s interesting to me which species of wood irritate the most. You can put walnut near the top of the list. I’m not sure what is in walnut that increases the irritation, but I can tell you it smells like iodine when you cut it and that an infection usually accompanies the splinter.

Why do we let people get under our skin? Is it that we are intolerant? Are we too self-consumed? The answer may be anxiety.

The Bible has a lot to say about anxiety; probably the most commonly quoted verse on the subject is Philippians 4 – be anxious for nothing but by prayer make your requests known to God. There must be a common thread; the fact that scripture mentions it so many times indicates that people regularly have anxious thoughts. Irritability, or letting things get under your skin, is just one symptom of a deeper issue.

Inner battles are not easily won. It is a process of asking and receiving; asking God to help you change and receiving the results little by little. Even if you remove a splinter from your hand, the wound still needs time to heal. And who’s to say you won’t pick up a new splinter tomorrow? Eliminating one problem often creates a new one. It is learning to be a peace while under stress that will keep you from negative reactions to irritating situations. Like the guy sitting at the cubicle next to you who keeps clicking his fingernails all day, or the kid humming the same tune over and over, or the lady on the bus who always wears too much perfume, or ……………………………. well, you get the picture ………………

Psalm 94:19 NIV

19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:6-8, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 8:26

My mug is up! Here’s to a stress free day that puts me at peace with everyone!

All verse quotes courtesy of biblegateway.com