Friday, July 30, 2010

OK, I need more Patience… but with people?

Patience is the ability to respond to people’s incompetence or unique differences in a good-natured way. It will protect me  from offense and bitterness, and will allow God to work in my life. I certainly need patience in my life

What causes me to be impatient?

I fear this person is taking advantage of me. I’m in a hurry and my time is valuable. My pride and ego get in the way. I’m more important. Look how bad they are. I’m better. I know best. I lack knowledge or understanding of their situations, circumstances or culture. Look how many reasons I use for justifying my anxious, impulsive, aggressive, and self-centered attitudes and actions.

As we deal with people, we need patience that results in correct responses. Galatians mentions patience as one of the fruits of the Spirit and different translations use words like longsuffering, even tempered and forbearing to help us understand this spirit-led characteristic. Synonyms include tolerance, forgiving and merciful.

How can we be patient without being forbearing, tolerant, merciful and forgiving? We can’t. We must combine these ideas of forbearance, tolerance, mercy and forgiveness with the essence of Christianity, love. Then we will see the overt manifestation of patience in our relationships. 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that love is patient and kind.

And how does patience manifest itself?

Patience is not envious or boastful; it isn’t arrogant or rude. Patience doesn’t insist on it’s own way; it isn’t irritable or resentful.

Patience bears and endures all things; believes all things and places confidence in others; it joyfully waits with confident, expectation and hope; and it calmly, suffers unfair treatment. Patience exercised with Faith, hope and love is never powerless or without effect. [Based on ESV translation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8]

Sounds like love. And that’s why patience never fails.

Remember continue your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God our Father.  1 Thessalonians 1:3

What provokes impatience towards other in your life? What do you do to respond patiently to these people? Leave your comments.

Read about patience when things seem out of control here: Patience in Life's Circumstances

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