How to live in harmony when we feel we are failing so badly? After all, we are sinners struggling against our own flesh and against the evil that is in this world. But there is a way to live in harmony, and it involves three blessed words: the first is love, the second is forgiveness, and the third is patience.
The Bible teaches us to live in harmony by putting on these three acts, the first of which is the most important and determines the fulfillment of the other two, for as it is written in Colossians 3:14, love is the perfect bond. On Friday we talked about forgiveness, and today, in our last day of this series, we will delve a little deeper into a virtue that we have been lacking: Patience.
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit to be perfected
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,Galatians 5:22
No one is born patient, and this is clear to those who live with children. Who hasn’t asked when they were little on a road trip: “Are we there yet?”, or when they went to the doctors they were worried about the long delay to be seen; when a child is hungry then… you can prepare yourself to hear a lot of crying.
As we grow up this improves a lot (or should improve), because we understand that we can’t have everything at the time we want, we learn that each thing has its own time. Unfortunately, sometimes our childish side decides to reign and we can forget about patience.
Who has never seen someone fighting in the traffic or at the reception desk of a doctor? Usually it is because we feel wronged in some way. The thought is: “Why is it taking so long now that it is my turn? I have an appointment, I am late, I have to pick up my child at school; I, I, I…”. When we are impatient we act superior to other situations or people, we stop being generous with those around us.
The lack of patience complicates life instead of solving it, because it takes away our peace, and we become impatient, unable to hear what our Father has to tell us. We don’t see the other, only our own need that we want to satisfy in our own time.
How does a child learn to be patient?
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.Romans 5:3-5
How does a child learn patience? Well, at birth he is not yet aware of the world around him, but as he begins to grow he understands that his parents cannot change the timing of things, they have tasks and duties beyond him, so the child understands that there is a world beyond him and that he needs to behave properly to live in society.
But what we see out there are many adult-children, who still don’t understand the world around them. This is because, since we are adults and should have already understood the world around us, patience becomes a virtue. We know that we should be patient, but occasionally our esteem blinds our eyes so that we don’t see the other’s need.
This is why patients can and must be worked at. When we receive the fruit of the Spirit of God and are renewed, patience becomes part of us, for the fruit of the Spirit works as a whole, love leads to forgiveness, which leads to patients, which is an extension of longsuffering and so on, to endure adversity. Therefore, the tribulations and setbacks we face can contribute to our developing patience.
It depends on our personal relationship with God
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.Revelation 14:12
Our patients depend on the quality of our personal relationship with God. Those being patient will inherit what they have been promised, as it is written in Hebrews 6:12, “Lest you become indolent, but be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
The genuine Christian also waits with patience for the coming of the Lord Jesus, and until then our mission here on earth is also to live in harmony, spreading God’s love and the gospel. “Therefore, brothers, be patient until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the first and last rains. Be patient also, and strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.” This is the message of James 5:7-8 for us.
Patience is a virtue we work on, this week choose to be patient, as it is written in Matthew 6:27: “And which of you by all his care can add one cubit to his stature?”, let go of impatience, it will not change the time of what is to come.
God bless you!
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