Friday, July 11, 2008

Patience with Imperfection

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

Humorist Dave Barry says, "A perfect parent is a person with excellent child-rearing theories and no actual children."

The same could be said of a perfect world or a perfect family; there's only one way to mess things up: People!

Living with imperfect people requires patience, and you – now I say this as a friend – are one of the imperfect people who requires patience! Unfortunately, I'm an imperfect person too.

Patience means putting up with me when you'd rather lose your temper; it means forgiving me when you'd rather nurture a grudge.

In addition, patience is a muzzle on a mouth full of murmurs that are passed along as prayer requests. Patience puts the long in long-suffering. Patience is love in action because "love is patient" (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV).

Patience and a critical spirit are mutually exclusive. Even when your complaints are justified, patience pushes and pulls you toward forgiving and forgetting: "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).

Being patient may try our patience, but we become stronger when we learn to love imperfect people. Patience frees us to develop godly diversity in our relationships, where we no longer require everyone to act and look and think the same way we do.

Adapted from Purpose Driven Life online dated 8 July 2008

Labels: ,