Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Patience is a gift of love and fruit of the Holy Spirit

 

December 9, 2014

Lauriault

Religion Columnist

What’s the longest minute? The last one because we become clock-watchers and, like watched pots that don’t boil, clock hands seem to stop moving when we watch them impatiently.

We’re still two weeks out from Christmas and the youngsters and young at heart are getting restless. Last Christmas, a now dearly departed family matriarch with Alzheimer’s didn’t want to wait until after the mid-day feast to open presents. So, she recruited the youngest family member present (4 years old at the time) as an accomplice to start handing her gift bags so she could plunder their contents without considering who the intended recipient might be. Needless to say, when the culprits were caught, mild impatience was demonstrated by others in the house.

Patience is a virtue that’s not inherited. Young children (and some not so young) often don’t exhibit because they haven’t learned it and it’s often not retained by those in their second childhood. Once learned, patience must be maintained because if one doesn’t use it, they’ll lose it. All of us lose it on occasion, sometimes over the least of matters.

While patience can be exhibited by anyone at any time, true patience is among the fruit of the Holy Spirit who lives within Christians (Galatians 5:22-25; 3:26-4:7; Acts 2:38-39). It’s an expression of love, another fruit of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). The fruit of patience is developed only through adversity as we survive afflictions and are comforted (James 5:7-10; Romans 12:12; 2 Corinthians 1:6; Revelation 13:10). When we learn patience we’re more likely to endure (persevere) until Jesus returns. Those who don’t stand up to the adversity, including the temptation to “fit in” with the world, will suffer greater afflictions in the end (Revelation 14:6-12; John 17:14-16; 1 John 2:15-17; Romans 2:4-10). We must be patient while we’re growing in patience.

Like Christmas approaching, we’re in the last days on earth during which everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Hebrews 1:1-2; Romans 10:12-13; Acts 2:16-21; 22:16). Our salvation is nearer now than it’s ever been, and although God is being patient with even the worst of us, he’s set the day for the world to end and for judgment (Romans 13:11-12; 1 Timothy 1:15-16; 2 Peter 3:8-13; Acts 17:30-31). Christians can speed the coming of the Lord through appropriate activities as we look forward to Jesus’ return without impatience (i.e., time flies when you’re having fun doing good, but concentrating on wrong things, like prematurely opening presents, is like watching a clock or waiting for a pot to boil, and leads to unpleasantries).

While we’re waiting, it’s appropriate to pray for patience for us all (Colossians 1:9-14; James 1:2-8). We also can imitate others in overcoming struggles as companions in the battle (Hebrews 6:9-12; 1 Peter 5:6-11).

So, whether you’re waiting eagerly for Christmas to finally arrive or for Jesus’ return (both are ok), exercise patient endurance and encourage that in others rather than being an accomplice to inappropriate actions.

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at [email protected]

 

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