Something so very hard to extend, yet I cry out for it from others, imploring: “Have some understanding about my situation!” “Be patient with me.” The pleadings are abundant, the ways I ask for it varied and sincere, yet so often I find it difficult to grant to others.
For some misguided reason, “they” should have their act together… “They” should never forget an important task at work, or make a mistake. “They” should offer better service. “They” should know not to bring up certain topics because it hurts my feelings. They should know and remember at a moments notice a myriad of miniscule details about my life, and offer gracious acceptance and forgiveness to me for all my quirky ways, while I hold myself to a different standard.
“I don’t have time for games.”
“I told them once already. They just are not paying attention.”
“They will never change if we indulge them. We must hold them to a higher standard.”
Then I remember how God is so patient with me. He has never crosses his arms across his chest and said, “Sorry, I told you once how I feel about that and you disobeyed.” His arms are always outstretched, ready to forgive, to embrace, to teach, to extend compassion.
In my heart-of-hearts I truly want to be more like Jesus, but it is so hard to change my evil ways. I cannot, in reality, do it by myself. The Holy Spirit must cultivate this fruit in the garden of my spirit, so that I may continue, one day at a time, growing in the knowledge of Christ, exemplifying His character traits to the world around me.
The words to an old Sunday school song from the 70’s ring in my ears:
“I want more of Jesus, more and more and more.
I want more of Jesus than I ever had before.
I want more of His great love, rich and full and free.
I want more of Jesus, so I’ll give Him more of me!”
Lord, forgive me. Purify my heart and fill it with your compassion, your love, your patience for those around me. Continue your restorative work in my life so that there is an even greater family resemblance to you.
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