Thursday, October 13, 2011

Character Makeover: Patience

God expects us to be patient. 

The bible uses two different words for "patience" One refers to the patience of waiting under difficult circumstances, and the other is more of a long-suffering type of effort with difficult people. If we really think about it the Bible is all about waiting... 
God's timetable is definitely different from ours, and the process of waiting is a God-ordained experience that he uses to prepare us for what he has in store. 

Wilderness Waiting can occur after both terrible lows (crises or tragedies) or great highs (spiritual victories).  Wildernesses are not pleasant places. The natural reaction we find ourselves doing is to complain, get confused, and lose faith.  If we get our bad attitude and lose faith that's when it gets prolonged and more drawn out. 

Complaining makes you more miserable. (Also makes the ones around you more miserable)
Confusion leads to despair
Losing Faith gets you stuck. 

We need to learn to relax in the wilderness... Once you open yourself up to what God wants to do for you in this place. And believe it or not, God can use the wilderness as a place of nurturing. 

3 Ways God Nurtures us in the Wilderness:
      1. God Meets You
      2. God Refreshes You - Gives us a break, slow things down, give us space to restore our souls, or get back on our feet again. 
      3. God Grows You- Growing something in you. Trying to show you that he is more concerned with your character walk while you wait in the desert than in expediting the end of the situation. 

I believe the reason the wilderness waiting takes longer than we think it should is so he can prepare us for what he has next after the wilderness.  He needs us to stay there long enough to grow our trust in HIM. 

Anatomy of Impatience

-Do you stop and pray?
-Do you blame and label the person who is irritating you?
-Do you feel sorry for yourself?
-Do you hit or throw or shake something?

When you dissect impatience we find it's rooted in blocked desires, when someone disagrees with us (getting at our pride), and when we don't get our way (which is self-centeredness), when we're too tired or hungry (that's the fallout from lack of self-control), and when we're over sensitive (that's back to ego).

Patience when the Wilderness Remains SILENT

-Often , int he wilderness, the only result we get from all our prayers is God's silence, which can be rather unnerving. Sometimes God is silent because he is quietly waiting until we're ready for his answer. He may not be waiting to give us what exactly we asked for, but waiting to give us more than we could ever imagine.

God will Provide.

How to be patient with Irritating People

-Give them Understanding
     "Those who are patient have great understanding, but the quick-tempered display folly."
                                                                                                          Proverbs 14:29
You think you can figure out someone else's motives; You Can't.
     -No one can know what anyone is really thinking except that person alone.

-You think someone's words mean the same thing you would mean if you said them.
    The more you understand the more patient you become.
    You can't know others' motives until they reveal them, and you can't know what theymean until they clarify them. Two Steps to understanding people better: 1. Ask clarifying questions, such as: What did you mean by that? How are you feeling? Is there something else you're wanting me to hear? What do you need from me right now? Why do you feel that way? 2. Listen to the answers. Really LISTEN. Don't speak before the other person has had a chance to clarify his/her motives and meaning.
                               "To answer before listening---that is folly and shame"
                                                                                  Proverbs 18:13
-Give them a Break
     "Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love"
                                                                                              Ephesians 4:2

Just Remember: You have bad days too, and God accepts You.

Jumping the Gun

Jumping the Gun is what we do when delays are making us nervous or the decision isn't clear.

"Don't just do something; Stand There!"
"Count the Cost"
"God is not a God of Confusion"

Our first impulse to act can something be seriously flawed, and it is waiting that clarifies what we should do.
If your panicking and think you dont have peace about a decision, JUST PAUSE, PONDER, and PRAY!!

Patient people stop before they Jump the Gun, and they rely on GOD.  Patient people also go slow enough to love others along the way, so they're less likely to Indulge in their pet peeves.

Pet Peeves- are really nothing more than minor, unannounced inconveniences and annoyances that are beyond our control. These irritations block our agenda, causing us to get easily irked. The more impatient you are, the more pet peeves you will notice in your life.
The secret to not indulging them is to learn to let go of your agenda, your preferences, and your expectations-yes at a moments notice!

Learn to see your pet peeves as God's reminder signals--his little nudges to get you to love someone who doesn't deserve it, to do something kind, to learn patience, or (if all else fails) to get you to talk to him about your ATTITUDE :)

Here is some scriptures for patience if this is an area you struggle or you are in the wilderness and need some time to just talk with God and be in his word:

Psalm 37:7-9
Psalm 40:1
Psalm 86:15
Romans 8:24-25
Romans 12:12
Romans 15:4-5
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Galatians 6:9
Colossians 3: 12-13
Hebrews 6:12
1 Thessalonians 5:14
James 1: 19-20
James 5 7-8
Revelation 14:12

I'm still working on these verses and a good way to help you out during the day if you need the extra boost.. I have some scriptures on my bathroom mirror and random places I know I look at during the day examples by the sink where you get ready, in the car, at your desk at work. It really makes you stop an think and read it and gives you some time to just talk to God. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! :) 

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