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Back to Basics – A Patient Person

by Pastor TJ Freeman - June 9, 2016

Are you a patient person?

Maybe you’re the wrong person to ask. Would your spouse say that you are patient? Or your children? Would other drivers on the road call you the picture of patience? Are you patient when somebody wrongs you? Are you patient when someone points out your weaknesses…especially if they point them out to someone else behind your back? Are you a patient person? Most of us must admit that there is some room for improvement when it comes to our practice of patience.

But is this really a big deal?

Sure, it has been said that patience is a virtue, but it seems that impatience has become the cultural norm. We microwave our food, make instant coffee, watch video on demand, expect two day delivery, pay at the pump, and share pictures, videos, and messages in an instant.

We want what we want and we want it now — and in most cases, we get it! This is the age of instant gratification — and it has plenty of benefits! But, like all change, it comes with a cost. And in this case, patience has paid the price. As our desires have been met more rapidly, we’ve become increasingly impatient. And that’s the problem – the reason patience has been called a virtue has everything to do with the devastating effects of impatience.

Impatience stems from a mindset that says my needs are more important than anyone else’s needs. When I am impatient in traffic, I am more concerned with my own agenda than the agendas of those around me. When I am impatient with my spouse I am more worried about my needs being met then hers. When I am impatient with my children, I’m more worried about my own comfort than my responsibility to train up the next generation. The Apostle Paul made a startling connection between love and patience in his famous discourse on love in 1 Corinthians 13, when he began with these 3 words:

Love is patient.

In other words, we cannot be both loving and impatient at the same time. Every impatient response reveals that our love for ourselves is often stronger than our love for others. If that stings just a bit, stay tuned, because after the break we’re going to consider how we can reclaim the forgotten virtue of patience:

As the world moves even further into the realm of instant gratification, we’re not likely to develop patience naturally. But, there is something I’d like you to consider…

We have a great example of what it means to be patient in the person of Christ. Christ patiently endured the accusations of men who pointed their fingers and labeled him blasphemer. Christ patiently endured the cross — suffering and dying for the same sinners who rejected Him in favor of sin. Christ patiently endured your sin — offering you the free gift of salvation if you place your faith in Him alone for the forgiveness of your sins.

Christ is the perfect picture of love — and the perfect picture of patience. And more than that — He is slowly, but surely teaching you patience as He allows the circumstances of your life to work together in such a way that they point you to Him. The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, or frustrates you, or wastes your time — remember the One who patiently endured your sin as you patiently endure the trespasses of others.

Credits:

Writing: N/A

Produced by Vogt Media