“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.” (Proverbs 19:11, NKJV)
Patience is a skill that I’m still working on, myself.
The wise man is telling us that we are showing “good sense” and… we are being “sensible people” when we follow his inspired words!
So, let’s pause for just a moment …
Quickly. Name or list as many impatient people as you can think of. Ready … Set … Go!
Okay … Stop! Could you have added more names?
So … the question is: Was your name on that list?
The fact is, it really seems to be easier to see the faults and weaknesses in others than in our own lives.
So, let’s pause for just another moment …
Quickly. Name the kinds of things that test your patience. Ready … Set … Go!
Okay … Stop! Could you have added other aggravations that try your patience with more time? For instance …
Red-light runners … Slow drivers in the fast lane … Fast drivers in any lane … Complainers in the slow line at the cash register … Complainers in any line … Whiners who don’t want to wait their turn.
People who tell their computer or laptop to “hurry up” as if it will help … Parents when their kids won’t mind them when asked … Family, friends, co-workers always looking at their phones.
Impatience versus Patience!
Life can be like a tug-of-war! We find ourselves dealing with thoughts, emotions, and actions that if not carefully considered … can and will lead to consequences that can prove to be damaging to others, ourselves … and even to the Cause of Christ!
“Patience” … also translated “longsuffering, forbearance” is that “fruit of the Spirit” that describes the ability to endure the negative words and actions of others and a willingness to accept those irritating or painful situations of life.
Patient people are not known for having a short fuse … but rather for their longer fuse … that is to say … if they do get upset it takes a while.
Reflected in the New Testament is one example after another of the inspired appeal to do better today than we did yesterday. “But you don’t understand … it’s just so hard for me.” Oh yes, yes we do understand! But understanding does not provide an excuse.
The Apostle Paul’s words found in Philippians 4:13 apply to so many areas in our lives by extrapolation, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”(NKJV)
“I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me.” (J.B. Phillips New Testament)
The truth regarding the ability to become more patient in life is that with Christ living in our hearts … we find the source and the strength necessary to do God’s will! We just can’t do it on our own!
We … you and me … we can be an influence for good today! You may have already had your patience tried today. Your patience will more than likely be tried before this day is over.
It is the one who possesses “the discretion” of God’s wonderful wisdom, who can defer, desist, and overcome! Yes, we can be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
We … each of us … can practice waiting … demonstrating the patience shown by our Heavenly Father and His only “begotten Son, Jesus Christ.”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.