"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12
Continuing our series on the fruit of the Spirit, this week we explore patience. I'll be the first to admit, there is nothing easy about being patient. I admire those who have mastered patience or practice it with ease. But patience isn't something I'd ever consider a strong point of mine. And certain circumstances, or people, or hardships seem to make patience even harder to obtain. So, when I see patience among the line up of fruit of the Spirit, it makes me wonder why this godly quality is so hard for me to practice.
How can I bear a fruit of the Spirit that seems so out of reach?
Maybe you've had similar thoughts. Maybe you've given up on patience. Maybe you believe that if you do well in a bunch of other areas of faith, patience can just slide under the radar. But here's the thing... when we choose to live any other way than God's best--which includes being patient--then we're choosing to settle for lives missing out on what God has for us and how God wants to use us to further His kingdom. God surely uses the sinner and the flawed to be part of His family and to sit at His table, but in time, we should begin to be transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit on our hearts and in our lives.
Patience is worth the struggle of attaining it. Patience will set you free from worry, trying to control everything, being demanding or bossy, patience will heal wounds and help you have healthier relationships in life. Patience will allow you to slow down, to hear from the Lord, and to have more confidence in the steps God wants you to take. Patience will help you stand out among a world that is pushy, impatient, and thoughtless. Bearing patience will draw others closer to Jesus.
When we lack patience, selfishness is at the root.
We get frustrated in long lines because our time is being wasted, we don't let the car with its turn signal on get in front of us because that would mean we may miss the light, we can't wait for God's answer because we want something to happen now. We get mad at the server who brought the wrong order or forgot to leave off the mayonnaise. Patience doesn't leave much room in our hearts for compassion, empathy, or understanding another person's situation. Impatience leads to a lot of selfish and hurtful decisions that could have tragic consequences.
To wait with patience is truly to live in a way that surrenders our lives to the Lord.
Spend some time in prayer or quiet reflection to discern things that bring out your impatience. Consider what you can do each day to help you bear the fruit of patience. Because we as believers cannot just give up on patience. We need to be pruned by our Father and made holier. We need to strive to live like Jesus and make a difference in a world that is hurting and in need of His love.
Patience will allow us more opportunities to be there for others and put our neighbors first. When we bear the fruit of patience, we listen better, we serve more, and we learn to live more righteously. We're never too old or too young to keep inviting God to work on us. Sanctification is a lifelong journey. If you're ready to practice more patience, read and pray the handful of verses below that highlight patience. Read them daily. Post them in places around your home or car to be reminded to practice patience. And remember, ask God for patience. Ask Him to help you bear this fruit and He will give you the strength to practice it and make it part of who you are.
Let us pray
Lord, thank you for being so patient with us when we mess up, take a wrong turn, hurt someone we love, or sin. Thank you that no matter what we do, you are patient with us, forgiving, loving, and always welcome us home. We want to bear the fruit of the Spirit you have instructed us to practice. These are things that we cannot do enough of. Let us be more patience, and we ask that your Spirit begin turning us from having self-centered mindsets to becoming bearers of patience in Your name. Amen.
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
"Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city."
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
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