Thursday November 18, 2004
We have all kinds of excuses for why we are not patient people - stress, ill health, other peoples' mistakes, running late, or having a bad day. But impatience causes us to make poor decisions, to hurt others and to damage relationships.
God wants something far better for us. He knows that the attribute of patience helps us stay in His will and in His favor. We achieve strong, loving, lasting relationships when we are willing to wait for others to change and we become happier with ourselves.
How do we develop patience? First, we must view our lives as God does and recognize that difficulties are opportunities in disguise to help us become patient. We must leave behind the mistaken thinking that success in the Christian life means an absence of difficulties. God's purpose is not ease, comfort and pleasure for us but to grow us up into Christlikeness. Patience is one of those "grown up" qualities He wants us to have.
Secondly, we have a personal responsibility to pursue the quality of patience and to train ourselves in it. We are to learn to resist our bad habits, wrong thinking and the way we have acted in the past. Practice responding with kindness and love even if the other is unjustly accusing you.
It takes time, energy and effort to change our thinking and our responses. Happily, we do not do this alone. The Holy Spirit is committed to producing this fruit in our lives with our cooperation. What difficulty is confronting you today? See it as God does and respond patiently.
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