In today’s “give it to me now” culture, Patience is a lost art form. We want our food faster, our information faster our degrees faster and our success faster. But not only do we want it faster we always want it our way. The motto for this generation could be “give it to me my way, right away”. But the Bible tells us that patience is included in the fruit of the Spirit. That means in the course of our spiritual lives and in our journey to become closer and more like Christ that we must cultivate this virtue within ourselves. John F Newton said “Be patient enough to live one day at a time as Jesus taught us letting yesterday go and leaving tomorrow till it arrives” . These are great words of wisdom that we should take note of. But let’s not ignore the most important authority, The Bible.
Here are a few verses on Patience
Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience….
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
I want to look at a few different aspects of patience. Adel Bestavros said “Patience with others is Love, patience with Self is hope and Patience with God is faith” I think this sets up a great framework on which to look at Patience.
Patience with OTHERS is LOVE- Let’s face it everyone screws up and dissapoints at some point. As we go through life those closest to us will make mistakes. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:4 that love is patient. When you love someone you are able to look past their faults and realize that they have possess qualities that make them worthy of your devotion. Great friendships, marriages and families are built around this idea.
Patience with SELF is HOPE – This is an area I struggle in. We all have aspirations dreams and desires for ourselves and no one likes to fail. Yet time and time again as we try to achieve what we believe we want we fall short. Whether these shortcomings are in academics, athletics, romance or in our profession it matters not everyone of us will wind up falling flat on our face. These failures take there toll on us and we can beat ourselves up. We can’t understand and begin to question our self worth. Patience gives us hope. A hope that if not today then maybe tomorrow or maybe further down the road but it will happen and can happen. Our dreams may only come to fruition with much dedication and work but the hope of another day will push us on.
Patience with GOD is FAITH- Wow…. How many times have you demanded an answer from God. Or expected God to give you what you wanted when you wanted. Yeah…. me too. But god doesn’t work on our timeline He has much greater things in mind. The hard thing for us is that He doesn’t send us a memo or share with us a PowerPoint demonstrating his 5 step plan to get us where we need to be. Rather, He asks us to trust in Him fully and wait and see. Patient faith can be one of the most excruciating things to master but it is one of the most valuable
The common thread in all of these is sacrifice. To truly practice patience you need to deny yourself. We don’t like sacrifice that is why patience is out of style. Again we want to have everything our way right away, We are self absorbed and until we learn to let that go we are in for major issues.
Thanks for your reflection. I tweeted it this morning as some good thoughts for this Friday in Lent.