Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 NLT
I remember it as if it were yesterday.
More than 30 years ago, the church where my dad was preaching gave him and Mom a gift: a microwave oven. Nothing like the present ones though—in size or weight. As big as a large screen television set, it must have weighed 50 pounds. Though it was bulky and ugly, it did one thing well—warmed my food in a hurry. In a matter of seconds or minutes, my food was ready. For an impatient person, this was a gift from God.
Microwaves are just one item that helps me hem in my impatience. The internet does also. No more going to libraries and spending hours researching information. All the knowledge I need on any subject is at my fingertips—literally.
But if the microwave breaks down…or the internet fails, what then? A growing impatience rises in my chest, and I get restless…even angry. Unfortunately, such scenarios aren’t the only things that rouse my impatience. People can try my patience as well.
Evidently, I’m not the only one with the problem. Paul instructed early Christians to be patient with each other. Everyone had faults, and sometimes those faults aren’t microwavable or searchable.
Patience with others is learned. Just as I must learn to be content in all of life’s circumstances, I must also learn to be patient with others. Remembering I’m not perfect myself helps. It’s also beneficial to remember God created different personalities in people. I’m Type A, so getting along with other Type A’s is easy. But not everyone is a Type A. Type B’s are probably more prevalent. Their approach to life helps balance out those of us who are Type A.
When I allow God to help me develop patience with others, I give a good example for others to follow. My patience demonstrates love. I don’t have to agree with everyone—nor do they with me—for me to love them.
Patience with others also reminds me that all believers belong to one body. We are not competing but working together for a common cause. Praying for those who I tend to be impatient with is a good practice. Perhaps God will change my outlook, and I’ll see them and the situation in a different light.
Ask God for wisdom in developing patience with others. After all, He’s patient with us.
Prayer: Father, as You are patient with us through our faults and failures, so help us to be with others as well.