We had a sermon on patience this morning.
Ouch–say my toes! Does it put you on edge?
Sure, it’s easy to be patient while waiting for my tea to steep…or for dinner to finish baking, but when it comes to dealing with other people, that’s another story.
Our minister centered his sermon on Galatians 6 and the “spirit of gentleness” Paul discusses there.
Gentleness. That’s a good quality, isn’t it? I like it when people are gentle. Don’t you?
Well, it’s no surprise–it’s actually a fruit of the Holy Spirit (along with its siblings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control all listed in Galatians 5:22 and 23). So is bearing “one another’s burdens” and bearing one’s own load (which should be measurably lighter if other people are helping bear it!), and doing good to everyone, especially other Christians.
I like the picture of patience we can see in Jesus as he talks with the woman at the well in John 4. Jesus goes to the well in the early morning. A woman is drawing water and he asks for some–a simple request. Then slowly the whole story of who she is and who He is opens up. You can find the whole story here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4&version=ESV
Jesus is so patient. He doesn’t blurt out, “Hey, I’m the Christ–how about some water?” and lay His “claim to fame” right out there, but neither does He water down the truth. That’s wise patience. He takes the other person into consideration and adjusts the conversation to a tempo and format that is best to reach them.
To follow that example will take some thinking and a lot of restraint on my part. It certainly won’t come naturally and it won’t be easy! Can I do that when caring for my mother? When I need to discuss the budget with my husband? When I walk into my son’s room and see an obstacle course of clothes, books, and assorted stuff on the floor? Do you have a challenging area in your life for patience? I recently asked some friends and heard about teenagers, aggressive traffic, delays in the checkout line in stores, and waiting on God’s timing during times we deem stressful. Sound familiar, dear friend?
What are we to do? The best thing to do is to go to the Bible.
Here will be my go-to verse for my renewed try at patience: 1 Thessalonians 5:14. Paul writes,
“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
Be patient with the idle. (those who won’t work for a living)
Be patient with the fainthearted. (those who’ve lost heart or are discouraged)
Be patient with the weak (those who need help)
Be patient with all.
I’m so thankful I have a patient God, as 2 Peter 3:9 confirms:
“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.“
Aren’t you?! Well, let’s get started. It’s going to be a busy week!