PATIENCE IS A TEACHER — Fruit of the Spirit — Part 4

Paciencia Es Una Maestra — Fruto del Espíritu — Parte 4

by

Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Thursday, September 28, 2017

A photographic image of one-way street signs.

Drivers on one-way streets have the opportunity to demonstrate patience to those that are traveling in the wrong direction. [Photographer: Mark Manalaysay. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

I had just left a meeting downtown and was driving on a one-way street when I noticed a car coming toward me from the opposite direction! The driver was going the wrong way! He had failed to notice the signs that said, "One Way". The other drivers and I slowed down and waited until the wrongdoer realized his mistake and turned off that street as quickly as possible. No one honked their horn or showed other indications of irritation. That demonstrated patience on the part of all the drivers that were obeying the signs.

It would have been easy for any of them and for me to honk our horns to let the errant driver know he was going in the wrong direction, but that would have added to his problems because he was already confused. By remaining quiet and allowing him to focus on the best way out of the situation, we exemplified patience for him.

That's what we have to remember when we are faced with difficult circumstances. We must ask ourselves, will anyone learn anything if we react in anger? Expressions of anger or impatience only worsen most situations. They certainly do not help.

Consider the occasion of drivers in Yellowstone National Park where bison roam free. When a driver encounters a bison strolling down a road that is intended for automobiles, it definitely would not help to honk a horn at the animal. That would only enrage it so that it might do serious damage to the car and to other passing vehicles as well. instead, one can only slow down and follow the animal until it decides to get off the road. Situations such as that teach patience to all involved.

A photographic image of a lone bison on a highway.

Some situations demand patience. [Photographer: Skeeze. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.]

James addresses such circumstances in James 1:2-3 when he writes, "2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (New King James Version) This verse tells us that patience has a purpose. its job is to take our focus away from our own selfish desires. That's because patience is usually called into play when we interact with others – whether it is with human beings, animals, machinery, or with other entities.

it is also possible for us to be impatient with ourselves when we say the wrong thing or when we make mistakes. That is the reason for the admonition to craft workers to "measure twice, cut once." At the heart of this maxim is the advice to take the time to measure twice. impatience often occurs when we get in a hurry and fail to use a little extra time. in order to do that, we must exercise self-control and use wisdom in order to know when to slow down and when to control our desires to act on impulse. When we exercise control over our own desires and our own impatience, we are demonstrating strength of character. By this, we understand that patience is strong rather than weak or passive. That is because patience has deep roots in faith.

The Apostle Paul identifies the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person in Galatians 5:22-23. He calls these indicators "fruit" when he writes that, "22) … the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things." (New Living Translation)

A common phrase that we often hear is, "I lost my patience." However, one must possess patience in the first place before it can be lost. One cannot lose something one never had. Most often, the people that claim to have lost their patience weren't known for having much of it in the first place!

It is possible to develop patience with ourselves. One way to do that is to think about times when God and those around us have demonstrated patience with us. You are able to read these words because someone exercised patience with you while you learned to associate letters on a page with the sounds that you hear. Most everything you know how to do came to you because someone patiently took the time to teach you and did not become annoyed when you made mistakes. Even if someone did demonstrate impatience, you may have been the one to exercise patience with that person while you learned whatever skill you now possess.

Another way to develop patience is to ask for the Holy Spirit to come into your life. As we noted earlier, patience is one of the indicators of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we exercise patience with others and with circumstances, we demonstrate that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Like the drivers waiting patiently for the one that was going the wrong way on a one-way street, we provide a wordless witness to others.

A photographic image of highway signs that emphasize patience.

Life has a way of teaching us to be patient. [Photographer: Giovanni Gagliardi. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

BiBLE VERSES FOR THiS POSTiNG

James 1:2-3 — 2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (New King James Version).

Santiago 1:2-3 — 2) Hermanos míos, tened por sumo gozo cuando os halléis en diversas pruebas. 3) sabiendo que la prueba de vuestro fe produce paciencia. (Reina-Valera 1960)

Galatians 5:22-23 — 22) By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (New Living Translation)

Gálatas 5:22-23 — 22) Mas el fruto del Espíritu es amor, gozo, paz, paciencia, benignidad, bondad, fe, 23) mansedumbre, templanza; contra tales cosas no hay ley. (Reina-Valera 1960)

A photographic image of two men fishing.

Patience has its own rewards. [Photographer: Merelize. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

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