Not Easily Provoked – Acts 17:13

I am annoyed with myself today. Actually, I’ve been annoyed with myself for the better part of a week. I’m annoyed because I’m annoyed. (Probably doesn’t make much sense). I am frustrated with myself for getting frustrated with other people.

(A different direction for a second)
When I was in college, I had this institute teacher – Brother Ron Buhrley – He was awesome. (if you are reading this and live in the Ogden area, go to the Weber State University Institute and take a class from him!) The reason I thought he was so awesome is because he was so uplifting. He listened to people, remembered everyone’s anem, and he had a testimony of the gospel. He was such an inspiring teacher. I took several classes from him, and still can remember specific things I learned. Anyways – the thing that I think I liked so much about him and his classes is that he seemed to have this love for people. When you spoke with him you felt better about yourself, and pretty much everything else. He was optimistic and radiant. I wanted (and still want) to be just like that.

So, for years – at least ten, maybe twelve, I have wanted to be like Brother Buhrley – happy, uplifting, and able to bring out the best in others. This is really hard for me. I don’t think that I’m naturally that way. I mean, I feel like I’m a positive person, but I let little things get to me. Lately, it’s been worse than usual.

So…today, I read the following scripture:

” 13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.” – Acts 17:13

In this verse, I notice that the Jews were specifically looking for instances to undermine Paul’s mission and “stir up the people.”

I think that there are times when I get “stirred up.” In fact, that’s why I’m so annoyed right now. I have been stirred up – and it seems like I can’t stop stewing. LAME! My stewing causes me to take on a more negative persona and spin on everything in my life. I feel like, when I talk to people, this negativity brings them down. (not Brother Buhrley-like at all!)

Additionally, when I think of the phrase, “and stirred up the people.” I am reminded of charity, and how one of her qualities is, “not easily provoked.” (See Moroni 7:45, 1 Corinthians 13:5). So – what strikes me here is, if I have charity, then I will not be stirred up – even when someone or something tries to provoke me.

That’s the key, I guess. I don’t need to be annoyed at myself or at anyone else. Instead, when I feel a little “stirred up,” angry or provoked, I can, instead, try to understand the person or situation better, and love them with a Christlike love, instead.

I will also refrain from rehashing the offender’s words or circumstances over and over again – which is me stirring myself up again and again, and removing myself further and further from the goal of obtaining charity.

I’m grateful for the gospel, and that it offers solutions to my petty problems. It is hard for me to be charitable. Sometimes I want to prove that I’m not a dummy, or that I’m a capable human being. However, charity, like the savior, has nothing to prove. It is meek. And it completely goes against the natural man. I just pray for grace, that Heavenly Father will help me figure out ways to be meek, kind, and charitable, so that I won’t get stirred up, so that I will be more like Bro. Buhrley – uplifting and kind.

What do you do when you get “stirred up?” How do you remain meek and charitable?

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1 Comment

  1. This is a hard one for me too. I have to say I don’t have much of a strategy other than to pray for help on this huge weakness of mine.

    This is one thing I’m continually making mistakes at and repenting for. It can get so discouraging, but one day (even if it’s not in this life) our righteous desires will bear fruit. I so look forward to that day.

    Reply

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