Summary: A sermon series focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit to help us reach our full potential in Christ. This week we are looking at PATIENCE!
Fruit of the Spirit - Patience
April 29, 2018
I would like to think I’m a really, really patient person. BUT, deep down, I really know I am not!! It takes me about 3 seconds trying to put something together, before I proclaim, this is impossible, or my best line is “there’s a part missing!”
I don’t like waiting in lines. The worst ones are in the grocery store. And if you’re like me, you look to see which line is the shortest with the least amount of items being purchased, then you rush over and get in that line. Yes, I’m anal. When I get in a line, I see who I would have been behind in another line and see if I chose wisely. Yes, I know . . . I have some issues!!
I read about a story in a New York Times article, Alex Stone told the story of how executives at a Houston airport faced and then solved a lot of passenger complaints about long waits at the baggage claim. So, they decided to hire more baggage handlers, which would reduce wait times to an industry-beating average of eight minutes. But the complaints persisted. This made no sense to the executives until they discovered something I can really relate to - - -
The real problem was this ~ ~ it only took passengers 1 minute to walk to the baggage claim. Now, they had 7 minutes to wait for the baggage, creating a hurry-up-and-wait situation. The walk time wasn’t a problem; the remaining 7 empty minutes of staring at the baggage carousel was.
So, what did these executives do? They moved the arrival gates farther away from the baggage claim area. Passengers now had to walk much farther, but their bags were often waiting for them when they arrived. The entire process took about 8-10 minutes. It took longer . . . but the complaints decreased!! Problem solved. *
Isn’t that amazing. The people were actually more inconvenienced because they had to walk further, but since they didn’t have to wait, they were fine with it. We truly are strange people!!
Well, we’re in week 4 of our study on the Fruit of the Spirit! You know what we’re looking at today . . . . PATIENCE. Once again, the Fruits of the Spirit as outlined by Paul in Galatians 5 are ~
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
Why is it that we become so impatient, so quickly. How quickly can a great day turn ugly because we’ve lost our patience?
Patience has more to do with us, than with others. Nobody can control my patience thermometer. Only I can control it. I control my anger and my patience. Nobody else can. We usually lose our patience because we feel we’ve been inconvenienced.
The first 3 fruits we looked at are hard to see in others. We don’t always see another person’s love, joy or peace . . . but we certainly see another person’s lack of patience. So, what does it mean when Paul tells us to be patient?
In Greek, the word translated as patience is a compound word. It’s made up of two words. The first word literally means LONG and the second word means ANGER. You may want to put your hands up to your ears because you might not want to hear what the biblical definition of patience is - - - it means “long to get angry; long burning passion, refusing to retaliate with anger, or long-tempered.”
Someone who is patient has a long fuse. They are not quick or short - tempered. It takes a lot for them to get upset. Unfortunately I think most of us struggle with a short fuse. We are the opposite of what patience means, especially according to the KJV – called longsuffering. It means we suffer long - - we demonstrate self restraint when we become angry. We are to wait a sufficient amount of time before expressing anger. This avoids the quick loss of patience and improper anger.
We are to take a long time to burn up – and reach our boiling point. Think about how quickly it takes to lose your patience. How long it takes you to burn up with anger; your temperature and blood pressure - rising? Generally, it doesn’t take long
So, the goal is to learn to slow down in letting circumstances heat you up. You know what it’s like when we see someone snap. We think I’ll never do that, then we find ourselves in the same situation, reacting like those other people!
There’s another word in the New Testament for patience as well. And often times that word is translated PERSEVERANCE. The meaning with perseverance is that you don’t just take what’s happening in a passive manner. In some ways, perseverance takes action on our part. We kind of fight to persevere and endure whatever is happening in our lives.