There is something great about conviction. I've been reading Paul Tripp's book Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, and something he points out is sticking with me in all of my minor and major irritations. He says, "Though there are situations and relationships that we all dread, there is enough variety in the how, when and where of our anger to suggest that something else is going on. That something is the heart. We do not respond to people and situations in the same way because we do not bring the same heart to them. This is why any attempt to examine the causes of conflict must begin with the heart."
No one can make me angry. Not my children. Not my husband.
Traffic cannot make me irritated. Not a pen. Not a mother at school. Not a boss.
Church cannot make me unhappy. Not a pastor. Not the music.
A race cannot make me angry. Not situationally. Not generationally.
Everything is about the heart. When I am mad at someone, I have to look at my heart. When I am impatient, I have to look at the heart. When irritated, the heart. And, simply changing my behavior will only clean it up until the next shoe drops. Behavior modification will never work. The only cure for an impure heart is Christ and what Luther said was the consistent pattern of the Christian life: repentance and faith, repentance and faith, repentance and faith.