Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)
Many scriptures in the Bible teach us about patience. One can define being patient as enduring discomfort without complaint. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote: “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16, NIV) Every time I reflect on this verse, it reminds me of the value of patience in the life of a Christian, given that Jesus set a compelling example for us, His followers.
Circumstances that ask us to exercise patience are diverse. Sometimes it’s wise to be patient when we’re excited about something. Also, we’re called to practice self-control, humility, and generosity when we face a vexing situation. The life of Jesus Christ is a good example to think about. On many occasions, Jesus had to exercise patience towards His disciples, including those who were His favorites. In the Bible, we read that the disciples were sometimes lazy to pray, slow to believe, thickheaded, and even selfish.
But Jesus never impugned them; instead, he approached them with love, mercy, and encouraged them to push themselves to be more like Him. He knew they weren’t perfect and was always ready to be patient with them for that. That said, life does throw at us discomfort experiences in our mission to serve God or live out His words that He asks us to exercise our patience as Jesus did to achieve the end goal.
Lord, let this reader and I be “All for One”, and, as a result, be patient with each other and ourselves.
This is the fifth in the “Extend Mercy” series of blog posts and is written by Osian Nzoyisenga, PEER Servants Global Summer Intern from Bujumbura, Burundi, PEER Teens Burundi member, and a rising Sophomore at Cornell University.