Are You Patient With...Yourself?
Posted by Marcia Newkirk on 04/09/2013
We have been exploring together in recent months the fruits of the Spirit as written in Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV):
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.What a marvelous thing to see God's Spirit lived out in our daily lives. We cannot work this up, we cannot be these things; instead, it is God's Spirit working in us to produce His fruit. We are such a blessing to others when His fruit is obvious in our daily life. This month takes us to the fruit of the Spirit of patience. We all need His patience living and active in our lives. We need patience with our spouses, our children, the clerk at the store, other drivers, our parents, siblings, neighbors, co-workers and others. But, I would like to consider someone else that we need patience with today: ourselves. Are you patient with yourself? Patience is not apathy or laziness. Patience is not doing nothing, but rather it is actively participating in learning and choosing to do what God has called us to do. It is doing our part to practice spiritual disciplines and study His Word so we can obey and respond to life with His answers. Patience is active not passive. As we consider our Keepers Bible Study, there are many truths that are challenging and sometimes difficult to remember and practice. For instance, are you remembering to daily spend time in the Word and actively pursue an intimate relationship with your Lord and Savior? We know we should and most of us desire this. If you have fallen in this life-giving habit, be patient with yourself, however, start once again to read His Word and pray, even if it is for 10 minutes. Maybe you have recently had a baby or maybe started a new job, your schedule has changed and your time is more limited for study. Don't let that stop you from talking to your Lord each day.? Be patient with the changes, but actively pursue how you can add intimacy to your busy day. If we are too busy to meet with God we are too busy. Another aspect of our Keepers study is our relationship with our husband. Does your response to your husband reflect what Scripture teaches? If not, be patient with yourself, but that does not negate that you are responsible to respond in love and affirmation to his ideas, his needs, and his desires. We demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit of patience when we choose to remember we are our husband's cheerleader, friend, companion, and lover. Consider your relationship with your children.? Sometimes our most tiring and trying times of patience are with our children. If you have messed up in the past and demonstrated a lack of patience, apologize, and remember how important it is to be loving, encouraging, consistent, and patient with your children and with yourself in this tireless job of parenting. How are you doing with home organization? The Keepers Bible Study is a wonderful tool to give us insight to managing our time, order in our home, and organization of our weekly priorities. It is so helpful in life to review principles that are healthy and encouraging to live by. Go back through your Keepers Study and review the tried and true principles and priorities. One of the best refreshers is to facilitate a class. Consider gathering some women together and offering to facilitate a Called to be a Keeper Bible study in your home. If you haven't yet taken this study, sign up at the very next opportunity. Watch the Keepers website for the next class in your area. Until the day God takes us home to glory, we are growing and changing. Be patient with yourself as you learn, make mistakes, neglect what you should do, and forget other things. Don't be discouraged, but instead be patient and keep getting up, trying again, learning more, apologizing often, and keep busy pursuing the Lord and His ways.
Thank you for this reminder, Marcia. I am in my last few weeks of college, and it seems that all of my teachers decided that in these last weeks they needed to pile as much on as possible! So my time has been lacking in other areas. I still make time before bed to be quiet with the Lord and study His word. But I do get frustrated with myself when the kitchen might not be cleaned to perfection at the end of the day, or the laundry might be folded but not put away, or there are toys EVERYWHERE that I couldn't get the boys to clean up or was too tired to put away myself. I need to remember that while this time of extreme pressure will be over soon (three weeks till graduation!), it doesn't mean that something else won't come up in it's place. I need to be diligent in my time with the Lord and my respect for my family. And do my best with my daily tasks and if something doesn't get done, it's ok.