Left lane drivers. Kids kicking the back of my chair at a social gathering. People stopping right in the middle of a walk way or aisle. People coughing and sneezing in their hand (instead of their sleeve). Line breakers. Theatre talkers. These are a few of my pet peeves. I imagine you have a few too. We can’t help ourselves. If we’re honest, even people with the patience of Job have pet peeves.
What do we do with them? I suppose it depends on the severity of the offense. There are some things that demand attention or it ruins the experience you are trying to have. There are some situations that can be adjusted subtly so as not to rock the boat, but still make a point. Like the time I moved one seat over when a child was kicking the back of my chair during a church service. I couldn’t help myself…I felt like I was in the Chinese water dripping torture chair and soon I would go mad. 😊 Though we don’t understand the quirks and rudeness of others sometimes, we do have to put up with them if we want to live in society. If we all confronted every single pet peeve, we would never get anything done, and there would be mass fighting I suspect.
One of my personal daily goals is to mold and shape the fruits of my Spirit. One of those is self-control. Instead of my pet peeves being my nemesis, I have used them to sharpen my self-control skills. I generally hold my tongue, move seats, move lanes, and use plenty of hand sanitizer rather than let any of those things ruin my moment or day. Life is too short to let the quirks of others get under my skin. Just about the time I think I’m getting more mature and mastering self-control, someone will come up with something new (and sometimes in my own house like leaving an empty jar of food in the fridge) to test my patience. And that’s okay. I just try to let it roll off my back, mind my own business, and enjoy my day. People have a whole host of their own issues that cause them to act the way they do, and as a Christian, I want to be a good example. For me, self-control is my best bet.
So, bring on the screaming children in the restaurant, obnoxiously loud patient in the waiting room, gum smackers, and people who stop to tell you their whole life story when you’re obviously in a hurry. You help make me more kind, patient, loving, and peaceful every day.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22,23
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