Thursday, March 1, 2012

Patience Is As Patience Does

As women we can become hurt very easily. We tend to carry those hurts with us. At times not even realizing we are doing so. That is until something minor happens and we just explode as those tears start rolling about like a tidal wave. All I can say is, watch out and head to higher ground.

There have been times when my husband, son say something that should bring laughter, but somewhere comes a flood of emotions I wasn't ready to let go of and they sure weren't ready to receive. Ever been there with me?

I can hold those hurt feelings in and you know what? The only person I am hurting is myself. That person who said the hurtful words doesn't care they said them and many times they don't even know they have hurt me because I tend to just keep it all inside. Once those words are there they begin to churn like butter. They become thick and settle in my heart. The only difference is, they are not sweet like butter, but grow bitter and hard like plaque, causing blockages. Now there is no where for them to escape. It's almost as though I am holding them captive until I am ready to release them.

When you think of patience, what is it that comes to mind? For me, it's waiting on God. Having patience when I cannot see up ahead. Patience while He is at work in the construction zone of my life. Seems like there is always a yield sign in front of me. "Slow down as you pass. Injury could occur if too close." It's like when you are brewing tea on the stove top. That tea gets mighty hot. It begins to bubble. If your not careful you could get burned. You make sure that handle is turned so you don't bump it and turn that hot pan over on you. It takes a long time for burns to heal. That's me when I have hurt feelings. They brew inside and most likely whoever is next to me is going to get burned. Ouch!

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."
Galatians 5:16

"But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law."
Galatians 5:18

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

When we share the fruit of the Spirit we tend to leave off the last part of that verse.."against such things there is no law." That is an important aspect of this verse. See, when we carry these characteristics with us we don't need to add any man-made rules. We don't have to add on anything, because when we are walking in these characteristics we are walking in Christ. He shines through each of these and the amazing thing is, you can't carry out one without the other. They all go hand in hand.

So when I get my feelings hurt, I must remember, it is not that person, but Satan. Yep, that mean, ugly Satan coming to attack me through another. Friends, it doesn't have to be an enemy for Satan to use in his attack. That really doesn't hurt as much as if it's someone you love. Someone you have been friends with for years. He uses the very people we love the most to bring about an attack. This is why I say, most of the time, that person doesn't even realize they have hurt us. The words they spoke weren't meant as an attack, but that is how we accepted them. Oh, we can be our own worst enemy, can't we?

Patience is the ability to endure injuries inflicted by others and the willingness to accept irritating or painful situations.

I need more patience in my life. How about you?

This doesn't mean you stand there like a doormat and allow others to step all over you. This means to endure it, let it go, and allow God the room He needs to work in this area. I think of it as the construction zone. The road can be bumpy. There can be a huge drop off. Sometimes the path ahead is not easily seen.  During the construction you must take a detour or sit still until you can move on through. But whatever the situation, it calls for patience.

Jesus showed us how to endure painful situations. He showed this through His life, His ministry and His death. We have His example to follow. He didn't lash out to those mocking Him. He didn't fight with those who didn't want to accept Him or believe Him. He remained focused on His ministry to bring salvation to all.

We cannot change others. Many times we cannot even change the circumstance, but we can change ourselves. We can change our attitude and our reaction. Just what if we loved on that person attacking us. Would it really be an attack? Might it be an opportunity to allow them to see Christ in action through our lives?

When we remain in that angry state we are only hurting ourselves. That person who attacked isn't hurting inside. They go to bed at night and rest comfortably. Me? When I am attacked I stay awake all night drowning in my tears. I'm not doing anyone any good at all. In fact, I have just waisted a whole night on what I should have just given to the Lord. I could have spent that time praying for that person who attacked me. I could in fact, just let it go and trust God with the situation.

"With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:2-3

It takes two people to have an argument and only one to bring peace. You can be the peacemaker just by speaking in love and refusing to allow anger to control your actions.

"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."
Colossians 3:12-13

Hurt people, hurt people. Someone hurts us and all we think about is, "How could they do that to me?" Friends, we don't know what that other person has been through that day or what someone else has said to them. Now, that is no excuse to bring hurt to another, but if we can stop and pray first, the situation will be under control, because we have now invited Christ into the situation and we are going to trust Him in how it turns out. Many times all we want to do is lash out to them. How calming is it to go the Lord and just ask Him to remove anger and fill us with the same grace He forgives us with daily? We don't always have to prove ourselves right. Sometimes it is better to just walk away.

"It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life."
1 Timothy 1:15-16


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