04 July 2012

Patience

Hanging in there with hard to love people...

Everyone is easy to love, right?

Especially your family, right??

Remember the post I did about blanket and sand paper people?  Some people in our life our soft, and comforting and sweet like a warm cozy blanket...and we love having those people around, and others are more like sand paper...rough around the edges and tend to rub us the wrong way!

Not everyone is easy to love, some people are EGR people...

Extra Grace Required


And don't laugh too quickly because to some one else you/and I are probably an EGR person to them!

But the Fruit of the Spirit is "LOVE, JOY, PEACE, and PATIENCE..."

We are called to be patient with people.  I struggle with this immensely.  Especially with my amazing daughter Julia.  I think mothers and daughters tend to have somewhat of a struggle naturally and part of it is that and also part of it is my Julia is so bright, and so strong willed, and so 4 years old, (and she can't help any of those) and it's my job to be the adult and be PATIENT with her and not let our relationship struggle but to show her lots of grace and love.

Yesterday at the beach Julia and I had a struggle because she has NO FEAR of the waves and water and I do because she is only 4 and barely 40lbs and the under currents could take her in an instant.  I had to constantly remind her to come back and to obey and listen to my voice the first time.  Even when her lips were blue she didn't want to come back to me, she wanted to stay in that ocean forever.  She is a fish!  But she needed to obey and she struggled to.

As we were packing up to leave and rinsing off at the showers a random, sweet woman came over to me and said, "You are a great mom, I was sitting near you on the beach, and you were so patient with your children, God bless you."  and she left.  I don't tell you this story to pat myself on the back AT ALL.  In fact my mouth hung open after she left because I felt of all days I was not very patient.  But, I think that what she maybe meant and maybe something that God is teaching me is that even when I feel I'm not being patient my consistency with discipline is noticed and that people and our children are always watching us.

If I could do Monday at the beach over there are tons of things I might have done differently...

My one constant prayer is to have PATIENCE with my children.

Ephesians 4:2 Be patient, bearing with one another in love.

I think about all the friends, family, coworkers, neighbors I have had and I sometimes ask God, why?  Why did you put that person in my life?  And you all have people like that in your life, people who make it so hard for you to smile and be friendly with because of their personality, their abruptness, their directness, or maybe the way they make you feel about yourself when you are with them.

Many times the answer is to show Christ to them and to love them any way.  Some times it could be to show you your own selfishness or jealousy or some weakness in you that only God can change.  I have had many people in my life that I have just had to love them and pray for them to be able to even be around them.  And praying for someone always makes you fall in love with them somehow...God just changes your heart and is able to work miracles.  He's so cool like that. 

The kind of patience mentioned in Galatians 5 and in Ephesians 4 is about how we deal with people.  People who let us down, who make mistakes, who hurt us and offend us, and we just give them grace.  I think of my parents, my husband, my kids and my friends who are patient and loving to me when I don't deserve it.

"Mistakes cause stains.  And stains take work to remove."
This is an analogy I can totally understand...especially with pre-schoolers and a son who is potty training!  Jesus has done the hard part of the stain removing already, hasn't he?  What he did on the cross cleans us and frees us.  But we need to be partners in his work and forgive others...forgiveness is not my forte...I must say, but being a christian means we must forgive...praise God that He gives us the strength to.

"Patience is hanging in there with hard to love people...sometimes to the point of forgiveness but always to the point of love."
And I have found that sometimes you just have to be the bigger person, and not let every single thing affect you or offend you.  I think we waste a lot of time being offended.  I think it's much easier to let go, forgive, and move on for heaven's sake!

"Patience doesn't mean slapping on a "nice" face and ignoring the reality of how we feel."
I'm an education and theater major...I know how to "act" nice!  But come on guys, we as christians, we need to be real.  We need to be honest.  We need to speak the truth and love, and we need to stop being fake.  I used to play nice and act happy at many a family gathering in honor of my husband and finally I just couldn't be fake anymore.  I had to stop acting like I wasn't hurt and approach the people who hurt me.  Say sorry when I hurt others.  And do my best to be authentic.  Because let's face it, if you are fake and phony then you are miserable and you are not loving others sincerely.  And God looks at our hearts.  He calls us to a much higher way of living and being.

"Patience is a spiritual fruit that grows from the soil of our humanity. As we experience unwelcome wounds from people, God can grow his fruit in our hearts and empower us to respond to such hurt with patience."

No matter who your EGR person is in your life, take the time to pray about your own heart and your own actions.  Ask God to show you how he would have you behave and respond.  Then forgive, show love, and be real.  
 
(All quotes came out of a devotional I am doing right now called Naked Fruit: Getting Honest about the Fruit of the Spirit by Elisa Morgan)

****Happy 4th of July, and Happy Birthday to my MOMMY!



2 comments:

  1. There is so much here Kristi! So many great lessons and nuggets of wisdom. Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you; it's an encouragement for sure! xoxo C

    ReplyDelete

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