Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Patience

Patience is the companion of wisdom. ~ St. Augustine  

Most of us struggle with patience in some area of our lives. For some being patient with children demands counting to 10 (sometimes twice), while others have to remind themselves to breathe in AND out when dealing with teenagers. Slow drivers with 'seasoned experience and their big cars' can send patience out the window; long lines, late people, and heavy traffic snatch patience from others. Hypocrisy, lying, whining or procrastination can tip the scale of patience. We know what triggers our frustration whether we admit it or not. In the scheme of life, I suspect none of these things really matter very much.

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom, beginning with The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline...Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs 1:1,7 NLT). Later, Chapter 14:26-30 gives this advice: Those who fear the LORD are secure; He will be a place of refuge for their children. Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death. Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes. A relaxed attitude lengthens life! 

The discipline that unites with wisdom gives birth to the patience in our lives. I suppose an absence of patience could point to a lack of wisdom. Ouch! Over the last several weeks in different venues I have heard a Proverb used, not incorrectly but without a reference of the phrase. Perhaps the ones speaking did not KNOW where their saying is found. Proverbs 27:17 says this: As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. Are you surrounding yourself with faithful friends, those who not only hold you accountable but desire to encourage you? Do your friends add value to your spiritual growth? A wise friend challenges you to be more, stands beside you, prays for you. Just as the Lord teaches patience and wisdom complement each other, a faithful friend can champion your heart. So, this week, spend some time reading about wisdom in Proverbs, thank God for faithful friends, and let your new relaxed attitude lengthen your life of Kingdom-service! - dho