“This world would be such a better place if it lacked those people.”
This is the way I’m tempted to feel when I’m interrupted, when I sense that another person loves themselves just a little too much, when one’s personality clashes with my own, or when someone’s mistake inconveniences me in some way.
When my patience is tested by the unpleasantness of those around me, it irks me, and makes me want to just avoid them. However, during these times, I’m forgetting that I myself have been “those people” in the minds of others because of my own unpleasantness.
We become impatient with others when we fail to remember their worth. When we do this, we start to see them as mere inconveniences rather than blood bought souls who are worth the death of God’s own Son. We are tempted to focus on their behaviors in the moment neglecting their eternal value. Sometimes we do give in, and when we do, we fail to love them as Jesus has loved us.
Patience is at the very center of God’s heart. The Spirit says through Peter, “Beloved … the Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:8-9).”
Apparently, some members of the first century church were becoming impatient with God. Why hasn’t Jesus returned to earth yet? Why hasn’t the kingdom of God come in all its fullness? Why hasn’t God delivered us from persecution? Why is God not fulfilling His promises immediately? Peter’s answer is that God cares about souls. He is patient with people because He sees even the ugliest of sinners as immensely valuable, giving them time to repent and be washed in the blood of Jesus. God is love, and that sin slaying, death defeating love is expressed in patience (1 Corinthians 13:4).
Patience for even the most unlovable must lie at the depths of our hearts. “Those people” must be viewed as “precious people,” and become recipients of God-like patience reflected by the church of Jesus Christ.
Become a man or woman after God’s own heart today by reflecting loving patience toward the people of this world and you will become God’s catalyst for blessed change in this community and world.