Summary: We all want it, but if the truth be known we have all got it Patience you can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
Patience is commonly limited to the ability ’to wait’ however, patience must include a combination of perseverance and self-control. Therefore patience is the ability to wait without frustration or reaction.
The AV captures the virtue of patience by using the word ’long-suffering’ which means to be long-tempered as opposed to being short-tempered. Patience then is being in control of our anger or being ’slow to anger’ (read Jam 1:19).
"Long-suffering is the quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger, and associated with mercy (read Rom 2:4, lPet 3:20)."
’Hogg & Vine’
Long-suffering or patience is a quality that should be sought after and displayed in the Christian character. Paul tells us to ’put on patience and to walk in patience’ (read Eph 4:2, Col 3:12). As a spiritual quality long-suffering or patience is received and released as we co-operate with the Spirit of Christ within us (read Gal 5:22).
It would be a wonderful world if every one was patient with everyone else. Paul encourages us to be patient with everyone (read lThess 5:14). However, people do test our patience and even Christians become angry. Satan seeks to use a lost temper to bring Christians under a ’cloud of guilt and condemnation’ that leads a person away from the truth of God. Christians must remember that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus and I would even say there is no guilt for those in Christ but there is for the Christian the conviction of the Holy Spirit that leads us to repentance and God, (read Ps 34:22, Rom 8:1).
To use patience effectively we must try to understand the anger we are seeking to control. Patience and anger are like ’the lion and the lion-tamer’.
REASONS FOR ANGER
Firstly anger is an emotion, a God given emotion that was perfect at its creation. So we should not pray "Lord take away my anger" we should pray however, "Lord help me to control my anger and use it in the way you ordained in the beginning."
Secondly anger is not a sin, simply an emotion, that can be used righteously or sinfully. Paul said "Be angry but do not sin (read Eph 4:26). It is how we release or express our anger that can lead us to sin (read Gal 5:20). Satan in tempting us to sin will use many influences upon our anger to lead us into sin, he may use insult, injustice, unfulfilled expectations, irritation from others, even our loved ones. We must remember we can be angry but we can refuse to be lead into sin.
RIGHTEOUS AND UN-RIGHTEOUS ANGER
When is anger a sin and when is anger not a sin ? If all anger is sinful then God and Jesus while on the earth sinned yet the Bible tells us clearly God cannot and Jesus did not sin (read lPet 2:22).
We can be righteously angry at; sin, gossip, evil, injustice, insult, or disobedience. Righteous anger should lead to righteous actions. However, if our anger at injustice, insult etc. leads us into an ’eye for an eye’ mentality then our anger is leading us to
return evil for evil and our anger then is un-righteous and sinful.
Anger can be expressed in physical violence on people or objects. However most anger is released by shouting which is not sinful its what you are shouting that may be sinful. Some anger may be unresolved by a person retreating into silence,
Tim LaHaye in his diagram (see back page ) helps us to see the ways released anger is expressed and how retained anger is suppressed and effects the heart and character of a Christian.
RESULTS OF UNRESOLVED ANGER
Silence may seem like self-control, (read Prov 17:26-28) anger needs to be expressed wisely not suppressed. Because unresolved anger very often takes root in our heart and character. Paul encourages us not to allow the sun to go down on your anger (read Eph 4:26). If we dwell on our hurt, if we feed our anger with imaginary conversations then we shall give birth to a grudge, giving Satan a foothold in our lives. Jesus said that what is in the heart will come out of the mouth if what is in our hearts is unresolved anger or a grudge then as James tells us the tongues will take control of our lives. As anger boils under the surface, rising up the thermometer what is finally unleashed from the mouth can be deadly for whoever gets in the way (Matt 15:11-18, Jam 3:1-11).
REACTING TO ANGER
Our reaction to anger should be to cool the thermometer of our temper. This is when patience is so important to the Christian character.