Posted by: Larry Hoekman | May 11, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit — Patience with Others!

Day 1976: Today patience with others; tomorrow ourselves and our circumstances.

Scripture:  I am like a sheep that has gone astray and followed my own path.  Isaiah 53:6a   I must be patient with the faults of others and forgive those who offend me.  I must remember that the Lord forgave me, so I should forgive others.  Colossians 3:13

Thoughts/questions:  Being patient with others is definitely challenging, as their behaviors are frustrating and irritating – but surely not any God2me readers! One practical way for me to be more patient is what I call the 10% rule – I find that about 10% of people are jerks (loving, aren’t I?).  10,000 people = 1,000 jerks, 100 really jerks, 10 really, really jerks, and 1 really, really, really jerk.  When, not if, you run into them, acknowledge that they are part of the 10% rule, try to ignore them, and pray that their impact on your life is minimal.

BUT God desires us to reflect His character, not just utilize a 10% rule.  So, WHY is God patient with us?  Because He knows us so well.  Sinners sin!  Because of His intimate knowledge of His creation, He can be patient with us and so can we!

OK, but what about patience with other Christ followers?  Shouldn’t there be higher expectations for them?  Doesn’t our patience with them condone their ‘acts,’ which don’t lift up the Lord?  Three things:  1) Many who call themselves Christians are not committed Christ followers and self is still on the throne of their lives; 2) The Bible calls new Christ followers ‘babies’, and babies aren’t perfect!  3) Speaking of not perfect, even sincere, mature Christ followers make mistakes.  God knows this as well and is still patient with us, so we must also extend patience with our brothers/sisters.

Armed with God’s perspective of believers and non-believers, we can let His patience flow through us. This patience WILL be supernatural when we see people the way God sees them!

Suggested prayer:  Lord, I need to have Your eyes.  Help me to see everyone the way You do and to be patient with them . . .

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