Friday, 23 September 2011

What Kind of Patient Am I?

Photos   from  a  gift  shop  in   the  old  city.

I  am  recovering  from  my  cold,  but  last   night  i  had  a  bad  fall.  I  slipped  on   some  water   on  the  porch  (in   the  dark) and  had   to  struggle  real  hard  to  get  up. My  Sheeba  tried  to  encourage  me   by  wagging   her  tail.  I  did  not  disturb  or  alarm  Mum  and  Aunt, they  were  a  few  feet  away.

Anyway,  my  left  elbow  and  knee  are  quite  painful.  Painkillers   are  doing   for  me.

Let   me  share   this  essay about  patience which  puts  it  in  a  new  light.

  Is Patience Dangerous?

Ed Welch

We can’t work on everything at once so we prioritize. Do you have any particular spiritual priorities right now? Are you focused on anything specific?

Is patience high on your list of priorities?
Is it in the top two or three?
If so—you are in danger. Yes, danger.

“Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). I believe that. Patience covers a good bit of love’s terrain. But consider how it might be dangerous when it becomes our primary agenda.

Patience can be self-righteous
Patience, at least the way we apply it, can mean this: “You are messed up. I’m not. But, being the generous type, I will wait until you finally get it and reach my level.” Too often, patience is actually no agenda at all. The real agenda is for the dolts around us who need to change.

Patience without humility is self-righteousness. It leaves underlying resentment and anger unattended.

Patience can be passive
If we know anything about ourselves, we know that we are not perfect. We expect to have a long agenda for growth and change. Patience, however, tends to just sit around and wait. It has a keener vision for other people’s sins than it does for one’s own sin and weaknesses. This makes it a hopeless goal because it lacks furvor for daily growth. Instead, it waits to be “tried” by people or events.

Patience can be silent
Along with the smug self-righteousness that can seep into patience, another problem is that patience offers no compelling reason to speak with the other person. Patience tends to be silent, and, especially in close relationships, the last thing you want to do is be silent when the other person is being sinful or even irritating. If we are bothered by something that has happened in a relationship, our kingdom instincts should be to speak about the matter in a way that is humble and edifying. From this perspective, I would be so sad if my wife or friends were “patient” with me.

Patience without a willingness to speak openly and in the best interests of the relationship is cowardice, even hatred.

Patience is best when paired with kindness
Yes, patience is a fruit of the Spirit, in which case it works best when it rests on a godly explanation:

The Lord is so patient with me—so patient. And other people have to be patient with me every day. Therefore, it is my honor to be able to extend that patience to others. Usually patience will speak to the other person, sometimes it won’t.

This version is less dangerous. But it could still use an addition. To be safe, we should remember Paul’s words (above) and add kindness. While patience is willing to cover minor offenses, kindness is busy strategizing ways to do good. Patience-kindness is less prone to sitting around and waiting for change in others, and it avoids the arrogance and cowardice that can lie hidden under motives that can be more deceptive than we realize.

Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF and holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a neuro-psychology specialty from the University of Utah as well as a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over twenty-six years and has written many books and articles on biblical counseling.

10 Fertilize my soul:

David C Brown said...

"But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing", James 1: 4.

Nadwrażliwiec said...

Patience is good, but patience doesn't mean "fatalism". It something different. The pest type of patience is patience with prayer.

Amrita said...

Thank you for sharing that verse David. God bless you on your journey.

Amrita said...

You are right Zim, patience powered by prayer and godly attitude.

Anonymous said...

Amrita, I pray that you feel better soon.


Laurie Collett said...

Patience in the Bible often means not sitting by passively and waiting for something to happen, but actively following God's general will for our lives while we wait for His specific will to be revealed. It is sometimes translated "longsuffering" because when we are patient with others who mistreat us, it often causes us pain. And, patience can also be painful because it is the result of going through trials (Romans 5:3: And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience). Amrita, I am blessed by your blog and will follow it, and I invite you to follow mine, Saved by Grace Love in Christ, Laurie Collett

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
I'm afraid I am not patient at all. The good Lord has had to teach me some lessons, and he still does.
I will strive though to become "12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12
I'm praying for your immediate recovery though. You have so many who are dependant on you.

Amrita said...

Dear Ron, thank you for your prayers. I need them.

Dear Felisol, I lack in patience too. The Lord is teaching me slowly, one step forward , two steps back kind of way. He is patient with me. I need your prayer. I used a hot water bottle on my sore, swollen joints tonight.

Amrita said...

Dear Laurie, welcome to my blog and thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comment. I will visit you and have online fellowship with you. God bless you.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Amrita, for your kind reply and for following my blog, Saved by Grace ( I appreciate the opportunity for online fellowship with you, and I will keep you in my prayers for good health. Love in Christ, Laurie