“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
This week we are going to talk about the fourth “fruit of the spirit” – patience. Remember that the fruits of the spirit are character traits that help us to become more like Jesus. My translation uses the older word “longsuffering” instead of the word patience. But they basically mean the same thing.
The dictionary defines patience as the ability to accept delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. The definition that I like best for patience is “trusting God to keep His promises in His perfect timing”.
Jesus came to earth to complete God’s plan of salvation for us. Jesus was God’s Son, but He didn’t begin His ministry until He was about 30, because this was God’s perfect timing. Jesus was full of patience. He was good at waiting.
Jesus was also very patient when He was talking with people. He didn’t get angry when people crowded around Him or wanted to touch Him or wanted to be healed. Jesus was kind and gentle and treated people with love and patience. He listened to them, He understood how they felt, He spoke truth and healing and love to them.
Having Patience Like Jesus
Waiting and waiting and waiting so long.
Mary reads so slow and gets words wrong.
The rest of the group are rolling their eyes,
And squirming and huffing soft, long sighs.
Mary looks at us and sinks way down in her chair.
The teacher looks around with a bit of a glare.
Telling us silently to be more patient and kind.
I hear again Sunday’s story of Jesus in my mind.
His disciples, impatient, shooed the children away,
But Jesus said, “No! Let them come to Me and stay.
Jesus laid hands on the children and blessed each one.
He was patient and kind and gentle, He is God’s Son.
So when Mary finished reading, the teacher said well done.
I looked at Mary and smiled and told her reading was fun.
The rest of the group, regretting their impatient tease,
All smiled and encouraged Mary to try again, please?
This week when you start to feel frustrated or angry because you are waiting too long or because someone is not doing what you want, take a deep breath and stop and think about Jesus’ story. How would He react? Then try to show more patience and kindness and gentleness. Don’t get angry, be encouraging. Share with your parents how you were patient with someone else. Ask your parents to share with you when they had to use patience. But remember that patience takes practice.
Breath deeply and practice your patience with calm and gentleness!