Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The overlooked sin of impatience

This year I have been preaching through the Gospel of Mark and really enjoyed it.  Constantly being in the text of Mark has given me a whole new picture of Christ that is even more amazing than I anticipated.  Recently, I took out from the local library King’s Cross by Timothy Keller which reads like a commentary on Mark’s Gospel.  It is well written and filled with great application.

I came across a quote about patience that I wanted to share:
“Patience is love for the long haul; it is bearing up under difficult circumstances, without giving up or giving in to bitterness. Patience means working when gratification is delayed.  It means taking what life offers—even if it means suffering—without lashing out.  And when you’re in a situation that you’re troubled over or when there’s a delay or pressure on you or something’s not happening that you want to happen, there’s always a temptation to come to the end of your patience. You may well have lost your patience before you’re even aware of it.” (King’s Cross pg. 59)

Patience is one thing that has stood out about Jesus.  He was extremely patient with people, especially with the Twelve who would eventually abandon him at the Cross.  Small wonder that the first description of love is that of patience in Paul’s famous Love Chapter (1 Cor 13:4).  As I look at myself compared to Christ I see how far short I fall.  Sadly I have lacked patience with people on numerous occasions.  And the people I lack patience with most frequently are those I am called to love most regularly. The roles of husband, father and pastor have all revealed how impatient I can be. 

My only hope then is to look to him who has been so patient with me and trust his grace to work his patience in me.
“Grant that we may follow the example of Jesus’s patience”—from The Book of Common Prayer