I’ve been told many times that it’s never a good idea to ask God for patience.
Somewhat along those lines, I am praying for God to develop kindness and gentleness in me, because I tend to have a temper more often than I care to admit. In the past week it seems that people have been lining up to take turns ticking me off. I have had to almost clap my hand over my mouth from saying what I really want to say, erase text messages, and walk away from conversations just to keep from saying things that aren’t beneficial. It’s really hard, but I kind of think God wants us to be nice..and not just externally nice, but internally. So when I find myself really wanting to blast someone, I am trying to pray about it and asking God to change my heart towards that person or situation. I pray for him to enter the situation, and that’s always had a better outcome than when I decide to handle things in anger.
The goal here is to stop giving frustration, worry, and anger so much power over me that it causes me to sin. If God is my provider, protector, judge, Father..then I need to trust that he’s got me covered and obey his commands for behavior of his children:
1 Peter 3:4
But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
1 Tim 6:11
But as for you, O (wo)man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
He has told you, O (wo)man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
One thing I love about God is that he never asks us to do something he wouldn’t do. He’s already done all of it himself. Jesus had so much right to hate the people who mocked, abused, and eventually killed him. Jesus was no coward. Jesus was not a pushover. He just saw past people’s garbage and loved them anyway.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
1 Peter 2:23
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.
So, yeah. It’s kind of what he expects. I get it. I don’t want to be the cause of another person such as Ghandi saying, ” I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I am “looking forward to” and expecting many opportunities to choose love over smackdown in the near future. I’ll just have to pray for patience. Not.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.