Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Daily Digest #292

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. —Luke 6:37

I believe that our judgment is relative to our level of patience. We usually insist on being right, yet we sometimes forget to assess if our "right" is indeed based on the truth or just because our our own selfish reasons. Allow me to share some excerpts the reading "What Does the Bible Say About Patience?", pp. 23-30:

The Consequences of Impatience

[We are] left with the impression that patience is a great and a noble virtue that is needed only in the most extreme and difficult times of our lives. But the truth is that patience is a practical everyday virtue -- one we're required to practice mostly in small, almost unnoticed ways. Sadly, the meaning of simple patience is often dramatically demonstrated by our acts of impatience. Nearly all of us have grieved over acts of impatience that had dire consequences. Maybe if we ask ourselves what our impatience means, we'll have a better handle on patience. Looking at my own life, I can see my acts of impatience motivated by these selfish thoughts:
  • "My time is more important that your time."
  • "Don't you realize that your slowness is irritating me?!"
  • "Come on, I have things to do." In other words, "My activities are more important that yours."
  • "If I don't hurry, I'm going to miss something important to me."
  • "I don't have time to deal with your problem."
  • "This waiting is inconvenient for me."
  • "You're keeping me from doing something I want to do."
  • "I have to do this quickly because there's something else I want to do."
  • "God's work must be done now, and I'm the only one to do it."
At its heart, impatience is one of the chief traits of self-centeredness. And self-centeredness is a mark of immaturity. We are not surprised that children want what they want when they want it, but we expect grown-ups to have matured to the point where they're willing to wait and to give of their time to meet the needs of others. Unfortunately, we live in a society that all too often doesn't know how to wait. Our generations has become the "I Want It Now" generation. We've become so accustomed to immediate self-gratification that we have lost our appreciation for the gift of patience. Here's a list of common condequences of impatience that can no doubt be readily added to by others who have suffered under its impetuous control:
  • Untimely death
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Broken dreams
  • Troubles personal relationships
  • Stunted character growth
  • Compromised integrity
  • God's displeasure
  • Missing the best of Christlike love
  • Loss of the ultimate best in pursuit of an immediate pleasure

The Rewards of Patience

Because patience is such a valued attribute for the servant of God, it is found throughout the Scriptures. Sometimes we see it in failures and loss created by human impatience. But most commonly we find it marked by its rewards. Consider the following:

Patience leads to earthly benefits. "The Lord restored Job's lossess when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before" (Job 42:10).

Patience provides us a better end than the present. "The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better that the proud spirit" (Eccl. 7:8). "[God] will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor and immortality" (Rom. 2:6-7).

Patience allows us to bear fruit from seeds of faith. "The [seeds] that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience" (Lk. 8:15).

Patience wins the approval of God. "I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry" (Ps. 40:1). "Wha credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendanle to God" (1 Pet. 2:20).

Patience perfects our character. "Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (Jas. 1:4).

Patience provides health for our souls. "By your patinece possess your souls" (Lk. 21:19).

Patience gives us hope. "Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might hope" (Rom. 15:4)

Patience provides us with God's power. "Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of Godl strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy" (Col. 1:10).

Patience enables us to inherit God's promises. "We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Heb. 6:11-12).

For this, let us pray. May God bless us with a patient heart. May we practice kindness, mercy and love in our lives. Pray always. God bless!

Labels: ,