Vol.XX No.VII Pg.1
September 1983

Adult Temper Tantrum

Robert F. Turner

Down in my back, prone in a recliner chair, with typewriter on a board across my lap, and deadline staring me in the face. Seems like an ideal time to write an article on frustrations.

Somewhere I read, "Frustration is a form of adult temper tantrum. It is a determination to have our own way. It is not caused by our circumstances but by our refusal to accept and to adapt to those circumstances." At the moment I think that is a lot of pure bologna. But at the moment I am very frustrated, and it's hard to think straight during a temper tantrum. I must get control if this article is to be genuinely helpful to anyone.

Paul said he had learned, in whatsoever state he was, to be content (Phil. 4:11-13). He said, "I can do all things through Christ..." This was not mystical or magic strength. He learned, by heeding the word of the Lord. He prayed three times for the removal of some "thorn," but the Lord said, "My grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Our circumstances need not be just what we desire, in order for God's purposes to be properly served. We must learn that, as did Paul.

In most cases the causes of frustration are homemade. (I had no business mixing concrete and rolling big rocks.) We may procrastinate, make too little preparation for our job; or, being self-centered, expect all to go our way wholly inconsiderate of others. We may "blow off" at another, when we are really peeved at ourselves.

However, except for problem identification and correction, we should not waste much time assigning blame. Spend your time at work with present circumstances. "Casting all your care upon Him" and "Be not anxious for the morrow" (1 Pet. 5:7, Matt. 6:34) are not stop work slogans. We must use what we have, believing that God will help those who help themselves. Our weakness, working for Him, becomes strength. Let the "trying of your faith work patience" (Jas. 1:3). Frustration uses up the energy you need to fit the broken pieces of disaster into a new, beautiful mosaic.