“Love is not irritable.” (1 Corinthians 13:5). “To be irritable is to be in a constant countdown for a temperamental blast-off. It is to have your insides coiled, ready to spring into fury. The spiritual membranes of an irritable person are inflamed; the slightest friction sends a surge of pain through his system.” ‘In other words, the love inside of our hearts can be padlocked, whereas our anger often has a hair trigger. Irritability can be expressed through deep sighs, rolled eyes, a sharpened tone, gritted teeth, or prolonged discussions on how someone else messed everything up….coming from a heart that says “I want, but I don’t have” (James 4:1-2).
Irritability can come from sinking our deepest joy into good circumstances and cooperative people, and when these things are not delivered on the same day, we become angry. Irritability can come from losing a spiritual perspective that allows us to multiply reasons to be grateful even in the midst of difficulty. A heart that knows that somebody loves them finds ample reasons for thanksgiving and thus results in a joyful demeanor, knowing that God’s love and grace in Christ are the ultimate source of our joy, not the people or circumstances that surround us. Yet once we lose this gratitude and joy and become irritable, we begin to resemble Sesame Street’s “Grouch” character more that we do our own Savior. Love is not irritable.”
-Pastor Clay Werner, On the Brink: Grace for the Burned-Out Pastor, pg. 89.