Patience

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boy-205266_640Psalm 40:1: To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. (ESV)

The patient in spirit the bible says is better than the hasty in spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:8). It is better to think and not talk than to talk and not think. The right word is better than no words while no word is better than the wrong word.

In the dealing of Jesus with the disciples, he exhibited utmost patience, but some of the disciples did not learn that lesson on time. They did not express the patience he extended to them to others.

When he was not allowed passage through one of the villages of the Samaritans, John and James volunteered, true to the “hasty in spirit” type, to command fire to come down from heaven to burn them up (Luke 9:52-56). They knew who Jesus was, that he is great, and felt insulted on his behalf. That was what stirred them up to want to act that way. And they cannot wait to show their emotions, express their anger, and display their disapproval, communicate their distaste, pounce on their adversary.

The bible says that Jesus was reviled and he did not revile back. When he hung on the cross, he did not repay rejection for rejection, but prayed for his crucifiers that God will forgive them (Luke 23:34). He gave the opposite of what he was given, he gave love when he received hate and disgrace. He said: father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

The patient in spirit is forgiving, is not willing to keep a record of wrong, which only agitates. Paul said that we should live circumspectly and that means that we make decisions carefully, and that involves being patient.

Paul did not exercise patience with Mark, who once disappointment him on his first missionary journey, and was punished for his lack of commitment and expression of weakness with rejection when Paul was going the second time (Acts 12:25, 15:36-40).

Barnabas who was a ministry partner of Paul was patient. For Paul it was more about the goal of reaching the lost, and personal relationship can be sacrificed along the way, but for Barnabas, the people are as important, if not more important, than the mission. He was more focused on the individual than Paul was.

He exhibited that trait in the first moments we were introduced to him in the book of Acts as he introduced Paul to the other apostles when they did not want to give him any attention having been a stout persecutor of the church (Acts 9:23-26).

But Barnabas was quick to let bygones be bygones, able to objectively review new evidence of the changed life of Paul, and at the risk to himself helped him gain a new start, he puts his reputation on the line to help Paul integrate. Paul came with some baggage, but Barnabas bore it, by associating himself with him.

But Paul did not express the same consideration to Mark. He saw things in black and white and shove off Mark, even willing to lose his relationship with Barnabas over it. He was strong and Mark was weak, but he was not ready to bear with the failing of the weak. Later he learnt his lesson and he wrote that the strong should bear with the failing of the weak and not to please themselves (Romans 15:1). But when Paul rejected Mark from following him, he was pleasing himself.

The man without patience has purposed to please himself, being the epitome of selfishness, and me-ism, he is incapable of being empathetic.

The bible says that with faith and patience, we will inherit the promise (Hebrews 6:12) and that those who believe will not be in haste (Isaiah 28:16), revealing the link between patience and faith.

King Saul was not patient enough revealing his lack of faith in God and lost the kingdom. David was patient while he was in the wilderness being chased by Saul and he got the promise of the kingdom.

Moses was not patient for the time he will be called God to deliver Israel, he went on his own strength tactic and wisdom and at the end he was frustrated. He became a murderer then became a fugitive (Exodus 2).

Again later in his life, he was impatient with the children of Israel and did not follow God’s instruction as to how to get them water from a rock (Numbers 20:8-12). He showed disrespect for God through his impatience and lost out on making it to the Promised Land, something he had desired and dreamed of for a long time.

Lack of patience gets people into trouble. Lack of patience and lack of self-control are twins. If you are not patient to get married before you have sex, then you are setting yourself up for trouble, the seed of impatience you are sowing will bring forth the wrong fruit. The opposite is also correct, the seed of patience will give birth to sustainable success. The character root that will go deep into you because you practised delayed gratification, will go a long way to make you a better person, makes you reliable and effective, not easily distracted, able to stay a course of action until the end. Without patience there is can be no reliability, which is faithfulness. Samuel could no longer rely on Saul to follow instruction because he could not wait for him to make that sacrifice as he was meant to (1Samuel 13).

Without patience you cannot endure. Jesus says that he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22). If you refuse to continue with Jesus because of some difficulty you are experiencing, which is of temporary tenure, you have disqualified yourself from the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14), who said that if anyone looks back, he is not worthy to be his disciple (Luke 9:61-62).

The bible described God as being long-suffering, not willing that anyone should perish but come to the knowledge of the truth (2Peter 3:9).

As mentioned before, Paul enjoined us to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Being patient with others means we are considerate, realistic that Rome was not built in a day and that people still need some time to grow.

The bible says that anger rests in the bosom of fools and anger is the indicator of impatience (Ecclesiastes 7:9). You get angry easily letting out your steam and generally making a mess of things.

Apart from being patient with others, you also need to be patient with yourself. Know that you are a work in process. Say to yourself, God is at work in me both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). God is patient with you, so the least you can do is to be patient with yourself.

An important announcement: Daily Meditation android app has deputed on the google play store. Click to download and take the time to rate and review. Thanks. 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dailymeditation&hl=en

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