In my previous post, I began to touch on my struggle with impatience. It is definitely not in the least bit delightful. Now, I would like to dive in a little further.
A friend of mine lent me The Bible Exposition Commentary by Warren W. Wiersbe to go along with a more in-depth study of scripture. It has been awesomely helpful!
Currently, I am studying Genesis, particularly focused on Cain and Abel. In reference to Cain’s offering being rejected by God Wiersbe notes, “Cain wasn’t rejected because of his offering, but his offering was rejected because of Cain: his heart wasn’t right with God. It was “by faith” that Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain (Heb. 11:4), which means that he had faith in God and was right with God.”
Later in reference to Cain’s discontent with God’s decision to accept Abel’s offering and not his own Wiersbe notes “It’s dangerous to carry grudges and harbor bitter feelings in our hearts because all this can be used by Satan to lead us into temptation and sin.”
This pondering led me to think about my own heart. While it is my duty to be self-controlled and make the right decisions in treating my family with Christlikeness however I may be feeling, I realize it is equally important to examine the driving force of my impatience. What is stirring up this frustration?
So I look at the action taking place. Maybe it is something I have asked my husband or my kids to do more than once, maybe more than a couple times. Maybe there is no real good reason at all.
So what do I do with my feelings at that point? How do I respond within? Do I instantly go into griping and complaining mode? Well, I’ll be honest right here and say um yes I do and quite often. I think I don’t know what else to do so I will just complain. I will have a complaining heart.
Do I think maybe those things, a complaining heart accompanied by bitterness, are what then usher in impatience thus leading me into sin? Probably so.
I have to take my eyes off of what others are doing, and I have to redirect my thoughts to how I can please God even in this situation. I have to own my feelings and make even my thoughts pleasing to God.
In Ephesians chapter 4 Paul gives instruction on Christian living.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
My home is no exception to carry out these provisions. Home is often the hardest place to continually exude Christlikeness because we are comfortable and may take for granted our loved ones.
Here’s the thing. Imagine if we become well practiced and disciplined in Christian living with the ones who often know every button to push or we simply begin to notice every little thing about. How much more will we be when we are out in the world? How then equipped will we be because of our choice to become disciplined in the home where it is easiest to slack and become lazy in our Christian living?
Being patient with our loved ones takes deliberate pursuit, self-awareness, and a guarded heart. That in itself will surely have a great effect on the world outside of our home.
What can you do today to pursue patience with your loved ones?