"With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." ... Ephesians 4:2,3
So in response to my social media post, a friend said they had zero patience for people who _____ and _____ and _____. In just a couple sentences they managed to insult my friends who'd commented and me and even Tom, as well.
And hey. Ol' Debra gets miffed when her friends--and especially her husband--get put down. You know, dismissed as stupid and unworthy of one's time.
Next morning, (I'll confess) this was me:
(Except, insert a little grey cat beside me.) 😉
Heh. But of course, I did get up because, oh Honey! I'm determined that nothing will stop me from moving forward. Nothing will hold me down, not even my own hurts. You know, like that verse in Romans 8--
" neither trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword can separate us from the love (and help) of Christ."
Well, I went about my day, but uh-oh! Soon, inside, I heard, "Uhm, Debra? How many times have you spoken sentences which begin with, "I have no patience for...?"
"I have no patience for harsh Christians who're shocked when they're treated poorly."
"I have no patience for Christians who believe women should keep silent in church."
"I have no patience for Christians who never give, yet expect to receive all the good stuff."
So what's the problem? I mean, it's not like I expect non-Christians to behave. Doesn't that count?
The problem is this: God has patience with them all. All the folks for whom I have no patience.
Oh! I'd sort-of forgotten.
God is love and love, first on the list, is patient. So if I tell you I have no patience for you, I'm also saying I have no love for you.
Gulp. Talk about your Conviction City. I'm still living there, actually.
But it's all good! That's because I long to grow, especially in love. When I'm growing in love, I'm growing in God. And that's vital to me.
Anyway, now this beats within my heart: may I never again say (or think), "I have no patience for ....". May God help me shed that bit of pride so that I'll not hurt people with my I-don't-have-time-for-you words.
And may this lesson enable me to love others, better. Unconditionally, even.
And what still blows me away after tons of years? Truly--all things do work together for good for them who love God and are called according to His purpose. Truly.
If I'll allow them. If I don't become all offended, instead.
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant." ... 1 Corinthians 13:4
If we truly love God with all our heart, it's not nearly as difficult to love people. He 'sheds abroad His love within our hearts' for others.
Oh! This looks like something fun to watch next year. (When the Brady Bunch first came around I was at the perfect age: ten-years-old. For years I was a rabid fan. heh.)
"Walk ... with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love." ... Ephesians 4:2