Fruit of The Spirit- Patience
by Timothy Whitt
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Do you have patience? The dictionary defines patience as ďthe capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint. Patience emphasizes calmness, self-control, and the willingness or ability to tolerate delayĒ
Patience is the perfect companion for peace, because when we are at peace, naturally patience will follow. Nothing can upset us or cause us to grow angry. As the dictionary defines it patience emphasizes calmness.
The beginning of the dictionary definition states that patience is also the ability to endure hardship without complaint. Love leads to joy, joy leads to peace and peace leads to the ability to endure no matter what (patience). That is why I think Paul had a specific order in mind when he wrote the fruit of the Spirit because each fruit builds upon the last.
Patience is also known as a virtue. A virtue means to have a good, or beneficial quality, one thatí stands out from all the rest of your personal traits. In our society patience is a good virtue to have, because if you take a good look around you will see we live a world that seems to have lost itís patience. People yell at other for no reason at all, the murder rate is up, there is a new disorder called road rage and the list goes on.
Patience I am sad to say is something that we have lost and worst of all there are even us in evangelical circles who seem to have no patience.
What I am talking about is this. The Evangelical community seems to loose itís patience over the wrong things. How many times have you been mad because somebody is sitting in your pew or has taken your parking space at church? How often do you feel frustrated because God has not answered your prayers or given you what you desire?
How often are silent when you should lose your patience? We as evangelicals are silent when it comes to matters of speaking out on such subjects as abortion, taking prayer out of schools and the list goes on and on. These are the times that we should be speaking out and not holding back.
Even Jesus lost His patience when it came to matters of God and the use of Godís house. In Matthew 21:12-17; Luke 19:43-48; and John 2:13-22 we read of Jesus getting angry over the use of Godís Temple being used for what amounts to a flea market. How much more should we speak out not in anger but in peace over what is going on in our world against God.
Now I have to make one thing clear when we loose our patience we should not do it as the world does it, showing anger, but out of a sense of love for others. This will insure that our impatience is peaceful. I think even Jesus though he showed anger in clearing the Temple was doing what he was doing out of love and instruction. This is the difference in Godly impatience and worldly impatience. As Christians we have love whereas the world has frustration and pain.
On final thing on the topic of patience: when you look at the life of Jesus you see patience. Time and time again Jesus out of love took the message to His people, His creation. Time and time again they turned their backs on Him.
Eventually His creation sent Him to the cross. On that cross Jesus could have lost His patience and destroyed everyone, but He didnít. He showed love for us and as Paul states he endured the cross for the joy set before Him to bring us peace of heart and a way to Heaven. Think of these words of Jesus on the cross ďFather forgive them for they know not what they doĒ. This is Godly patience at work.
Even today it is a good thing for us that God is not like His creation who has lost itís patience, because if He loses His patience with us we are in trouble.
Thankfully our God is a patient God
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Timothy, You are so right, when we pursue peace, patience is more easily embraced. Blessings, Rita