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Austin Grigg

Husband, father of three boys, dabbling theologian, web developer and business owner.

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Holy Frustration

In the same way that there can be a righteous anger, I wonder if there is such a thing as holy frustration. I came to this train of thought by way of a conversation with my beautiful wife, Lauren. We were talking about how it can be frustrating to see people living life in an unhealthy, or unfulfilled way and not knowing how to help them.

As Christians, we believe in an absolute truth -- it isn't a popular belief and it usually gets interpreted as holier-than-thou -- but without it theology, right and wrong, good and evil go from blurry at the edges to a meaningless chaos. If there is no absolute truth, then everything is an opinion and we all have just come to some sort of cultural agreement. The problem is that we aren't inherently good, we are a mess and left to our own devices we end up hurting and killing each other.

I say all that to say that the Gospel offers truth, and not just for truth's sake -- to help us live full, generous lives. God speaks to how we make friends, how we raise our kids, how to love our spouses (I particularly like the entire book dedicated to good sex). It talks about business, money, debt, violence, hope, gossip, forgiveness, food, wine, and about every aspect of life. The beauty of all of this is: they aren't opinions or suggestions, they are truth -- facts, legit. The bad news is, if we accept God's word as truth, we can't blow them off when they're inconvenient. The good news is, if we believe it as truth, someone's figured out the best way to live this life.

Of course, knowing the truth doesn't always mean we know how to apply the truth to a particular situation. I know the truth that God says a husband or wife should put his spouse first, even above his children, but I don't know all the ways that fleshes itself out. I don't know where the lines are drawn, but I'm hoping and praying that God will give me the grace to figure that out because I believe He set that up for a reason, and if we follow it, we'll have a better marriage and family.

It is tricky to try and tell someone you want to help them live a better life. People don't want to hear they're doing something wrong -- I don't want to hear I'm doing something wrong. It is frustrating to see someone hurting, and feel unsure as to how to speak truth and life to them, without turning them off. At some level though, I'm glad it frustrates me. Hopefully that means I want more for people, I want to see them live better, happier lives. If I weren't frustrated, I'd be apathetic.

So, here's to holy frustration.

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