Yesterday I was reading in the book “30 Words” by Jarrid Wilson, and one of the words I read about was patience.
Honestly, I’m not really a big fan of patience. It takes too long, it doesn’t happen in my time frame or how I want it to happen, and I don’t like to wait. I am a take charge, make it happen now, hurry up and do what needs to be done kind of guy, so patience and I have never really been friends. I know it’s an important virtue, I’m not denying that at all…I’m just being honest.
In the chapter on patience, the author said that “…the fourth fruit of the Spirit is patience (Galatians 5:22). Christians are not called to be impatient people.” Later in the chapter the author was talking about the idea of a waiting room…how we wait in there to hear something of substantial value. With this idea in mind the author went on to say “My point is, don’t expect anything of substantial value to come out of a speedy process. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but realistically, it won’t. In fact, scripture even promotes this (James 5:7-11).”
As I thought about this, how I don’t like being patient, but as a Follower of Christ I am called to be patient, I was reminded of God’s patience toward me…and to all of us. I began to think about how he continues to offer us grace, even after we continue to mess up and choose to sin and walk away from him at different times in our life. He will discipline us if needed when we make mistakes, but he still offers us grace even in the midst of the discipline. That shows just how patient with us he is.
Consider the following verses:
Joel 2:13 – “…Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”
Jonah 4:2 – “…for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”
2 Peter 3:8-9 – “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
God is so patient with us. What an absolutely amazing truth! It is yet another amazing gift of his grace toward us.
But let’s not forget that fact that no only is God patient, but he also calls us to be patient. Remember the verses I shared at the beginning of this blog; Galatians 5:22 and James 5:7-11. Those are verses where we as followers of Christ are commanded to be patient ourselves.
We are also called to show patience to others, same as we’ve been called to show grace and mercy to others just like God has shown it to us (read through the other blogs I’ve written in this blog series). In fact, grace and patience go hand in hand, because to truly show someone grace requires being patient with them. That is not so easy. Patience is hard; it takes too much time and isn’t dependent on my ideas or time frames.
I think we like the idea of God being patient with us, because we know we need it. However, we don’t like the idea of having to be patient with others, because we don’t like waiting as well as sometimes we don’t believe others deserve it. We like to accept God’s patience for us, but don’t always want to share it with others. That isn’t right. We need to share with others what God is offering to us, even if its difficult and we don’t like it.
Today, make a conscious decision to work on being patient. Work hard, because it will be difficult at times. Just remember often that God continues to show us patience, which is another gift of his amazing grace to us, and we must in turn show that same patience (and grace) to others.
Living as God calls us to is not easy, but it is always best.
To see all the blogs I’ve written in this journey to understand grace, click here (it’s the same link that is shared above).