My pastor recently stated that rather than having a temper problem, he has a patience problem. I certainly identify with that. My temper usually flares when something isn’t happening when I think it should and in the way I think it should. It flares, usually, when I’m simply being impatient.
When exploring the value of patience, we largely consider its negative consequences, and we do this because of the motivation that doing so can provide. For today, though, let’s look at patience from the other side, from the benefits that it provides.
Do you remember using “If… then…” statements in geometry? What about computer programming? Grammar maybe? Concepts explained through these statements stuck with me, I think, because they provided a logical argument with which to analyze any topic.
Looking at the benefits of patience through “If… then…” logic has helped me gain a renewed ambition to become more patient and as a result to further defeat any control my temper might try to exert.
- IF I want to grow, THEN I need to be patient.
- IF I want to harvest, THEN I must wait after I plant.
- IF I am patient with others, THEN love and unity will grow.
- IF I want to overcome temptation, THEN patience must be a rule.
- IF I want to win over my enemies, THEN I must employ patient persuasion.
- IF I am patient with others, THEN I am showing love.
- IF the Holy Spirit controls my life, THEN patience will grow within me.
- IF I love one others, THEN I won’t get hung up on faults.
- IF I exercise patience, THEN I act counter-culturally.
A spirit of patience must blanket our lives. We also need to choose patience during specific life events too. Patience happens when it becomes an attitude of the heart.
AMPLIFY: My 2013 social focus involves thinking first and reacting less. I want to develop a better habit of acting instead of reacting. I’ve tried willpower. Doesn’t work. The fruit of the Spirit needs to increase in me.
DISCUSSION: Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “Patience is better than pride.” Help me understand and apply that concept.