Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4.2
Sometimes people come into our lives, testing the limits of our patience. Sometimes it may be the answer to a prayer for patience. Other times it may be for us to learn patience in the most loving way. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, patience with others (and yourself) is needed.
We are all at different stages in our journey following Christ. Some of us may be farther along than others. By ‘farther along’ I mean older due to more life experience and hopefully wisdom. Those who are younger in faith and in life may make up for a lack of wisdom by having tremendous zeal. I know when I was in my 20′s, I had that zeal. My beliefs, attitudes and actions at that point in my life I regret at times. I look back and realize the lack of humility and gentleness. I was not patient and my love was not very deep.
Spiritual growth and maturity does not occur overnight. It takes time, painful lessons and a loss of childish thinking. Some of us may have a greater wisdom granted us by the grace of God. Others may not have it yet because of youth, both physical and spiritual. Patience is needed on both sides. The mature need patience with those who are zealous to do great works for God. The young zealous ones need patience with the mature who seem to not have the same enthusiasm they do. Both have much to learn from the other but patience will be needed or frustration will set in. Lack of patience will frustrate the young ones and all they will see is a lack of zeal and joy in the Lord that does not see the newness of the Lord’s work. In the mature, lack of patience will lead to a frustration that only sees hot-headed and emotional youth that always goes and goes and goes without rest that will eventually burn out.
Whether you are young or you are mature in faith, patience will benefit your spiritual growth. Whether receiving wisdom and guidance or encouragement and passion, the Lord Jesus Christ loves both the same. The love of God is unchanging, eternal and most of all, patient…