Love is patient.
Let's look at the 3 categories of who to love with patience:
1. God. I need more patience with God when waiting for a response with prayer. Sometimes I find it's so hard to be patient to wait for God to answer our prayers. Patience that God's Will will be done and that He is in control of all. It's all to easy to question God and his Will at times, but loving Him fully and completely means having patience that His plan and purpose will come to pass even when it doesn't make sense and we question why things happen.
2. Those I "love". Why is it, those that we say we love the most, sometimes we have the least patience for. We have no problem showing our true colors to those we love. Sometimes the complete strangers bring out the most patient side of us. I learned this working retail, where customer service was of upmost importance. It's all too easy to smile and say "oh no problem" and if that was someone in our life we loved, we would yell at them, with zero patience and tell them they are crazy. It's just how we operate. Our fuse is much shorter with those we "love". It's like we feel like they should know better. They shouldn't ask so many questions, and don't ask stupid questions, right? If I really love them, I should have patience to let them ask me 100 times and each time give them a calm, loving response.
3. Those we don't love. As stated above, sometimes it's easier to show these people patience (to their faces!). Because we are tolerating them, and because we are really good at putting on a front. But then once they are gone, what do we do? Talk about them behind their back. I have no patience for enemies in my life. And yet, it's the 2nd greatest commandment, to LOVE them with patience. How do I do that? How do you have patience for someone you can't stand? And, I'm suppose to love them too!?! oh boy. This category is the hardest for me. It's almost as if these people in my life, before they even open their mouth to talk, I've already lost patience for them and what they are saying.
Lord change my heart. Lord, you love these people just as much as you love me! Help me love like you love. Give me patience to hear what they are saying, give me patience to take to you any struggle I have with them and their character instead of talking bad about them behind their back and in turn becoming a bitter, hateful person.
How to apply patience into my character this week:
Write the word patience on pieces of paper and put them in the bathroom, fridge, car, wallet...this way I'm constantly reminded to be patient in all circumstances. My goal is to be perceptive and take note of how I'm treating God, loved ones and enemies this week and if I'm treating them with patience. If I'm not treating these people with patience, then I'm not loving them. If I'm not loving them, then I'm not doing the #1 and #2 commandment of God's. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I can do in my spiritual walk with the Lord. If I call myself a Chrsitian, I need to love.
Let me know how your week goes. Were there situations where you realized your lack of patience? How did you respond? How did you help remind yourself to be patient? Any good tips for me or ideas?
Lord give me patience for you and for every person in my life. Open my eyes to where I'm lacking patience.